GREENWICH pie-lovers were rejoicing earlier this month when a treasured pie shop welcomed back its regulars.

Goddards at Greenwich officially opened on April 5 and it seemed that their loyal customers were out in force including the Pearly King of St Pancras, Alf Dole, who is an old friend of the Goddards.

Jeff and Kane’s great-grandfather Alfred Goddard first started selling pies in 1890 in Deptford and opened a second shop in Greenwich in 1952.

But it closed six years ago to enable Jeff and Kane Goddard to concentrate on their wholesale business.

When they announced their return to Greenwich at King William Walk, people were thrilled and packed the place out while social networking sites like Twitter were filled with excited comments.

Jeff Goddard, who is helping to run the shop with his brother Kane and colleague Danny Sains, said: "It’s been six years since we’ve been here in Greenwich and I have missed it. I missed a lot of the people.

"Many of the people who have turned up I haven’t seen for quite a while and they helped us to build this family business."

He added: "Coming back to Greenwich is like coming back home really."

Mr Kane claimed that customers couldn’t wait until the official launch: "We weren’t even supposed to be open yesterday but we just opened for a few hours and the people just started pouring in so it was quite heart-warming."

"My mum, and dad, my granddad, goes back five generations - all these generations of doing this business in Greenwich."

Danny Sains started working with the Goddards three years ago and said it felt "unbelievable" to be opening the new shop.

He said: "There have been a few sleepless months but hopefully it will all be worth it."

History of pie and mash

Pies have been around in some shape or form for thousands of years.

London’s pie and mash culture evolved partly from the eel pie houses of the 18th century which were based in the East End of London.

Pies were filled with eel caught from the Thames but were replaced with meat as eel grew more expensive.

The famed cockney speciality of the jellied eel was made by boiling the eels with herbs and allowing small pieces to cool in their own jelly.

Liquor is served as an accompaniment over the pie and was traditionally a sauce made with parsley and the water used to stew the eel.

Goddard’s traditional minced beef pie put to the test

I was too nervous to try the jellied eel and instead plumped for the traditional minced beef pie with mash and liquor which is reported to be a customer favourite.

The pastry was crisp and the pie’s filling had an amazing texture whilst the mash was perfectly fluffy. The taste of the parsley in the liquor brought out the flavour of the mince and a splash of vinegar made the dish complete.

I would like to say I could vouch for every Goddard’s pie, but I only tried one type, so I should probably go back to try some more. All in the name of research, obviously.