Reynold’s Pasty Shop has been feeding northern Milwaukee for six decades

Work at Reynold's Pasty Shop starts at 5 a.m. Employees hand-chop high-quality ingredients and stuff them into hand-rolled dough to create the meat- and vegetable-filled Midwestern delight. Convenient and filling, the "meal in itself" is served hot.

“Lemme get two hot ones,” says a longtime customer as he places his order at Reynold’s Pasty Shop in northern Milwaukee. Reynold’s has been handcrafting its pasty (pronounced “pas-tee”) for more than 60 years; the Burleigh Street location has been an anchor of comfort food for the local community since 1956. Since there is no dine-in service available, Reynold’s has been able to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to serve hot and fresh pasties from its take-out counter.

Reynold’s still uses the original family recipe brought to Wisconsin by European immigrants in the 1830s. Coal miners carried the pasty, a type of folded and baked pastry with a savory filling, for lunch because it was warm and could satisfy their appetite on long workdays. 

Yinka Adedokun has been the owner of Reynold’s for the past 15 years. He knows hand-chopping and mixing fresh ingredients from scratch daily is not the most efficient mode of production, but he remains devoted to the tradition. 

Adedokun points out that pasties are an important part of local cuisine in many countries around the world. In Nigeria, where Adedokun is from, it’s called a meat pie; in Jamaica, a pasty is a patty; and in Mexico, it’s an empanada. But no matter what it’s called, or what spices are used, Adedokun says one thing is non-negotiable: “You need to have passion to create the pasty.”

Julie Grace Immink, RoadTrippers

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: