In 1972 Peter Myers arrived in New York City on what was supposed to be a short holiday. Little did he know that it would soon turn out to be his new home.
No longer on “Holiday”, Peter realized he would need to find a job. He found work as a bartender at the Bells of Hell, a friendly watering hole for expats. Within a short time, he became one of the Landlords.
A few years in New York and Peter was now settled. He married and had a daughter. The city was now his home, but he often thought of Keswick. When his daughter was born, his father Tom, decided to come for a six-week visit. Tom quickly grew bored of the city life so to pass time, he started making Sausage Rolls and
Cornish Pasties – items that were made daily at the family butcher shop in Keswick (that had since closed). These savory treats would be given out during “Happy Hour.”
They became so popular that Peter soon realized there was a demand for these culinary delights. Around the same time, Peter met a trade rep from the British Consulate who informed him that there were some 250,000 British ex-pats in the Tri-State Area. Thus the seed was planted. A few years later, Peter began catering to restaurants out of his home kitchen. As one can imagine in a New York apartment, things grew crowded and business seemed to be growing quickly. It meant the only way to properly grow, was to find the perfect location. The West Village seemed like the perfect fit. It was close to home, had that neighborhood feel, and – even better – it was within walking distance of the Meat Market. Within months, Peter and his wife Irene found the perfect shop. It had an old feel to it, with its black and white tiled floors, an old drinks refrigerator, and a display cabinet that reminded Peter of the family butchers shop back home in Keswick. So, on July 4, 1985, Peter and Irene Myers opened Myers of Keswick at 634 Hudson Street. On that day, they sold 1 Pork Pie. Irene was devastated and thought, “What have we done?” The next day Peter looked encouragingly at his wife and said, “see, I told you we would double profits in one day”…. they sold two Pork Pies. And so Myers of Keswick would continue to grow…
In 2007, Peter and Irene’s daughter Jennifer married Paul. In early 2008 they were handed the reigns of the family business. Today, the shop continues to grow at a steady pace. Peter spends his time between New York and Keswick and is still involved in the running of the shop, helping Jennifer with new product ideas and remaining as the face of Myers of Keswick. After all, it is Peter that made Myers of Keswick the shop it is today. Jennifer hopes to grow the business in terms of internet sales and expand into wholesale. Everyday is a new adventure and together, Peter and Jennifer learn how to handle the everyday life of a family business, something that remains a way of life in their family.