I have always joked that whoever coined the phrase “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” clearly did not work in the food industry. And yet here I am. I am Peg Chiarpotti, owner of Out of Hand remarkable savory hand pies. Together with my “Co-palate,” Karen Melton, Out of Hand creates meat and vegetable hand pies that embrace traditional flavors as well as pies that are regionally and globally inspired.

I have worked in the food industry for over 30 years, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and then in the Portland area since moving here in 1996. I met Karen in 2011 while she was providing hospice care for my mother. We share a deep friendship and a (borderline pathological) love of food and cooking. Karen has an amazing palate, a tireless work ethic and a fun and adventurous approach to food that defines Out of Hand.

We chose to make savory hand pies because it allows us to explore a vast landscape of flavors and ingredients while providing a product that is wholesome, affordable, and convenient ( . . . and also because our crust truly IS remarkable). We use local meats and organic vegetables as much as possible, and our tongue-in-cheek approach to pie naming satisfies our desire for a little mischief and often puts a smile on our customer’s faces.

No mention of Out of Hand would be complete without my partner in business and life and husband of over twenty years, Adolph Chiarpotti. His financial and emotional support have made Out of Hand possible, and someday soon I hope to be able to write HIM a check.