Just Out of the Oven King Arthur’s Pasties and Baked Goods

When the winter winds howl and the snow begins to pile up, thoughts of warm, comforting food come to mind. And nothing is more satisfying than a piping hot “hand pie” filled with tender meat, onions and potatoes smothered in rich, savory gravy – the delicious creation that we Michiganians call a pasty. King Arthur’s Pasties has been the go-to place for pasties and baked goods since 1968. Arthur Bowden was the original owner, and his shop’s first location was in Downtown Flint near Atwood Stadium on Third Avenue. Judy Holdorf and her husband Randy have owned the place for the last 14 years and now operate two locations – one on N. Ballenger Highway and one in Grand Blanc Township.
Photo by Mike Naddeo

Photo by Mike Naddeo

Judy began working at King Arthur’s 30 years ago as a cake decorator. She had taken cake-decorating classes and was working at an Owosso bakery when Arthur hired her. “I’ve always loved to bake!” she exclaimed. Judy was a good employee, and remembers the owner telling her, “Stick around and this place will be yours.” “And that’s what happened,” she laughed. When Judy and Randy bought the place, Arthur’s pasty recipe came with the deal. The recipe originated in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a place famous for pasties. In the U.P., pasties were an ideal food for immigrants working in the mines because they could tuck them into their pockets to keep warm until lunchtime. According to legend, King Arthur served pasties to the Knights of the Round Table, hence the whimsical name of the eatery.

King Arthur’s offers a variety of pasties, including the classic beef and vegetable and a meat-free version, as well as a variety of quiches. And while pasties are a huge favorite, the shop is also known for its baked goods, including pies, cookies, cakes, brownies, breads, muffins, cupcakes, cheesecakes and croissants. “Everything is made from scratch,” boasts Judy. Glass cases filled with tempting pies, including banana cream, chocolate cream, apple and cherry greet customers walking in the door. Other customer favorites are coconut cream, raspberry cream, egg custard, buttermilk, lemon, pumpkin and a yummy fudge brownie pie. You’ll also find chocolate chip, peanut butter, molasses and sugar cookies. “Everybody loves our no-bake cookies, too,” says Judy.

Judy utilizes her cake-decorating skills to create a beautiful selection of custom-made wedding, birthday, graduation and other special-order cakes for every occasion. Popular flavors include strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting, and German chocolate cake. “The frosting is really delicious,” said Judy. Many longtime customers return to King Arthur’s time and time again, especially during the holidays. “It’s a tradition for my customers to get their pies here for Thanksgiving and a cookie tray at Christmas,” Judy says. “I truly enjoy seeing them come in to pick up their orders and knowing we help to make their celebrations special.”

If you haven’t enjoyed a treat at King Arthur’s Pasties, Judy invites you to escape from the cold and pop in for a warm and satisfying pasty, or a sweet treat. “This is a great place to get a good, homemade products made with fresh, quality ingredients!” ♦


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