The Founder of one of the Upper Peninsula’s oldest pasty shops used to share an apocryphal tale about the time an iron miner’s coat fell into the outhouse hole. She said it wasn’t the coat he was sorry to lose, it was the pasty in the pocket.
Whether or not that actually happened, it does underscore just how delectable pasties can be with their flaky crust and typical filling of beef, potatoes, onions, and rutabagas. Some add carrots, though to people like Ronald Duguay, who owns Ron’s Pasties in Howell, that’s sacrilege. “It’s just there for color,” he says.
As for the rutabagas? “You’ve got to have rutabagas, or it’s not a pasty,” Duguay says with confidence.
Rooted in the English tin mining region of Cornwall, the handheld pies were served as lunch for those working in Upper Peninsula mines. In fact, Duguay learned to make them from his grandmother, who was from Hancock. While pasties were, at one time, primarily an Upper Peninsula delicacy, they are made and sold all around the state today. Wherever your travels may take you, there’s likely to be a pasty shop nearby.
At right is a sampling of spots to visit, from north to south. A few may operate seasonally or with reduced hours in the winter, so be sure to call ahead.
Col K’s Pasty Shop
1229 10th St., Menominee 906-863-5315
Roy’s Pasties & Bakery
305 W. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton 906-487-6166
Lawry’s Pasty Shop
2164 U.S. Highway 41, Marquette 906-226-5040
1983 U.S. Highway 2, St. Ignace 906-643-8542
626 N. State St., St. Ignace 906-984-2144
Hunt’s Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co.
117 W. Jamet St., Mackinaw City 231-436-8202
698 U.S. Highway 2 W., St. Ignace 906-298-5050
Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties
222 E. State St., Suite 102, Traverse City 231-941-7821
Mr. Foisie’s Pasties
154 Leisure St., Cadillac 231-779-9042
5642 E. Highland Road, Howell 810-222-9602
34379 Plymouth Road, Livonia 734-425-9300
13255 Northline Road, Southgate 734-281-4664