Who makes those delicious snacks we had on the tour?
Thousands of Brew Bus guests have enjoyed our famous snack served during the tour, a tasty vegetarian hand pie. They are prepared for us at a special place in Portland called Ten Ten Pié – a very unique bakery and market inspired by different types of street foods and international cuisine.
At Ten Ten Pié you will certainly find classic French-style pastries also found at other bakeries in town. But there are also items like steam buns, savory hand pies, and bento boxes all with creative ingredients and preparations.
Pronounced as [ten-ten pee-Ay], they take their name from a Spanish slang word for “snack”. Their shop is a bakery first, with market items and cafe seating available inside and out.
Markos Miller, who formerly worked as a Spanish teacher at Deering High School in Portland, teamed up with journalist-turned-pastry chef Atsuko Fujimoto to open Ten Ten Pié in 2014.
Markos and Atsuko actually first met in Japan over 25 years ago. Markos explained, “Our paths just kept crossing. We once again saw each other in Ohio where I grew up, and then we worked a summer together in Alaska in the salmon processing industry,” he said.
“We ended up losing touch with each other, and I moved to Maine. Then about 15 years ago I saw her walking down the street in the middle of Portland. I couldn’t believe it!” Markos told me.
After her time in the U.S., Atsuko had moved back to Japan to work as a journalist writing about the music industry. When she relocated to Portland with her husband and decided to move away from the journalism world, she followed her dream to become a pastry chef.
“She started her training at Fore Street, really learned the production side of things at Standard Baking, and then worked at Miyake,” Markos recalled. “But for a number of years, she dreamed about having a bakery for herself.”
Recently, I stood behind the counter with Markos and I couldn’t help but notice the enthusiasm in everyone coming in. The customers explained how thrilled they were with the variety of new and delicious foods that they had never seen before.
After getting through the morning rush, Markos told me, “I’m proud of that fact that we have stuff here that no one else is doing, As a business owner, that definitely gives me some pride and ownership,” he added.
That sense of pride in having something unique that you can truly call yours is something that Ten Ten Pié and The Maine Brew Bus have in common.
We first partnered with Ten Ten Pié for snacks when we only had 2 buses and ran tours on weekends only. Now, with tours running 7 days a week during our Summer/Fall season, Ten Ten Pié bakes us as many as 300 Kale-Feta and Breakfast-style hand pies every week for our guests.
“Kale-Feta was the first pie we made here and it has also been the best selling,” explained Atsuko. “I improvised one day and saw that we needed something savory since, when we started, we didn’t have a lot of sandwiches to offer.” She added, “Something satisfying that you could just grab and go and was a bit of a healthier option than what other pies had to offer.”
Most of our guests on tours without lunch receive one of these delicious hand pies included with their ticket. Often on our morning tours, guests get a breakfast-style pie with an egg baked right on top. Not only is it usually one of the highlights of our tours, but they are also the perfect snack to accompany all the delicious drinks you encounter throughout your trip.
“It has been the most popular and definitely the most produced here thanks to the Brew Bus,” Atsuko said as she laughed. It turns out that she had many more left to make us for tours later that day.
Atsuko and Markos have also been great when working with allergens, dietary concerns, and other special requests from our guests. As long as we know in advance of a tour, they generally can accommodate the various needs of our guests. They can even produce special occasion cakes that can be served while on tour, such as for a recent surprise birthday party held on the bus.
Ten Ten Pié is located at 171 Cumberland Avenue in Portland. You can call (207) 956-7330 for take out. They are open Mon-Fri: 7am–4pm, Sat: 8am-4pm, and closed every Sunday. If you would like inspiration by seeing the various items they produce, be sure to follow their Instagram account: @10tenpie
And one last tip: make sure to try their smoked salmon quiche and their steam buns!