We always love stories of people changing up their destiny and giving themselves over to their passions.
Here’s a story of just that sort of person.
His name is R.J. Asher. He’s an American living in Hong Kong who walked off the executive career path and decided to open up Tai Tai Pie Pies, a sweet and savory pie company.
Asher’s a friend of ours, but, even if he weren’t, his life-changing story is great and his pies are sensational.
If you’re not in Hong Kong to try one of his delights (www.taitaipiepies.com), then maybe his story might just motivate you to dream or bake big.
The NewsWhistle Q&A with R.J. Asher, the Ultimate Pie Guy . . .
Name: R.J. Asher
Date of Interview: January 25, 2013
Age (if you want to give it up): Older then I act but a child of the 60’s
Birthplace: Motown USA, Detroit, Michigan
Current town: Hong Kong
Occupation: Owner and baker, Tai Tai Pie Pies
What’s the funniest or saddest thing that’s happened to you this week?
I really think the most I laughed this week was watching Modern Family on Apple TV. It makes me laugh all the time. I love watching the U.S. TV shows to bring back a little of Americana. And I did need some laughter this week after receiving a speeding ticket in the mail from the Hong Kong Traffic Department. A camera clocked me going 7 miles over the speed limit on a major road while making a delivery. Yup, I got a a ticket on the highway for going 38 miles per hour.
What’s your favorite movie? And why?
This is a hard one as I really love movies. But if I had to choose one I’d have to go with either the first or last of the Godfather series.
What’s the biggest risk you took in life?
Leaving the corporate world and starting a western bakery in Hong Kong that specializes in pies.
If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be?
Maybe get better grades in college. I was a frat boy, in a lot of clubs and also worked as a bartender so I wasn’t in the library as much as I should have been. This answer’s pretty much what my mom’s been wanting to hear for years.
Tell us your favorite joke:
I can’t remember jokes very well as I usually leave something out or give away the punch line too early.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
I am pretty much an open book. I like to talk and share my life stories all the time. But if you want to know one of my biggest secrets . . . keep on reading.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?
I always liked what Digger Phelps, former Notre Dame Basketball coach, once said, which was always look people in the eyes when you are speaking to them. But the best piece of advice is from my dad. He always said always give it your all — in everything.
My dad worked his butt off to give us a lot and I appreciate that tremendously. It’s because of him that I realized early on that if you are confident and work hard, you’ll be alright – success will come.
Who’s your favorite celebrity? And why?
Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro. They’re great actors, a lot of fun to watch.
What’s your strangest phobia or superstition?
Here we go . . . I organize my socks, underwear, and hanging clothes by color.
Last, but not least, is there anything you want to pitch, promote or discuss?
Yup. Pies. To me, they’re the best food in the world. You can eat them for any meal or snack. There are sweet pies, savory pies, bite-size pies, large pies, you name it. For the adventurous, there are even sweet and savory ones. Pies make you feel good and, personally, I feel one should never go without a slice each week.
Bonus curve question: What are your true thoughts on the cupcake?
I don’t like cupcakes that much because once you have one, you eat it in a flash and then you are like … that’s it. There’s a lot more to a slice of pie.
— end it —
Photos Courtesy of Tai Tai Pie Pies