SAULT STE. MARIE — Heidi Ritter and her husband moved to Sault Ste. Marie in 2020 and was shocked that she couldn’t find a place to buy warm pasties in town, so she started her own pasty company, Yooper Pasty Co.
Ritter was born and raised in the Marquette area, and while she lived there she enjoyed having lots of choices when it came to getting a pasty. When Ritter and her husband Jeffrey moved out of the U.P., Ritter started learning how to make pasties of her own, to have her favorite Upper Peninsula food with her no matter where she lived.
Due to Jeffrey’s job in the Coast Guard, the couple moves frequently across the country. Over the past 20 years, the couple has lived in Washington D.C., Key West, Florida, Baltimore, Maryland and Alaska.
“It took me the past 20 years to kind of master it because I wasn’t interested in having them shipped to me,” said Ritter. “I wanted them fresh, so I just looked up a recipe I found online, and I’ve kind of just been tweaking it along the way. The crust at first when I started baking them that wasn’t very pretty, but it smelled like a pasty and it tasted like a pasty so that was good enough for me and then I got older and wiser and better.”
No matter where they lived, Heidi enjoyed making pasties and sharing them with neighbors and friends.
“As I got older and became a better baker and cook, I made prettier and tastier pasties and I got the stamp of approval from many Yoopers along the way,” said Ritter. “And now I feel like I am confident that I can offer a legitimately tasty pasty experience for Yoopers.”
When they moved to Sault Ste. Marie in 2020 so Jeffrey could become captain of the Coast Guard ship USCGC Buckthorn, Heidi, who is an elementary school teacher, was disappointed by the lack of U.P. themed food in town. So, Heidi decided to start her own business and bring pasties to the Soo herself.
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Yooper Pasty Co. will offer several kinds of signature pasties, including traditional beef, beef without rutabaga, vegetable and gluten free pasties. The truck will also serve other traditional U.P. and Michigan food like Vollwerth hot dogs and Faygo.
“We’re gonna be a real Yooper experience for locals and tourists alike,” said Ritter.
The food truck will be opening its doors to customers in the Valley Camp parking lot in late July.
Contact Brendan Wiesner: [email protected]
This article originally appeared on The Sault News: Yooper Pasty Co. aims to bring traditional U.P. food to the Soo