It is impossible to count the number of times I have popped a Landry's Meat Pie in the oven to feed the kids after baseball or when time didn't permit the preparation of a meal from scratch.

French meat pies with gravy are amazing. Some folks eat them with ketchup.

I grew up in a family brimming with French Canadian relatives. If you weren't Irish, you were French Canadian. Sometimes you were both.

WFHN-FM/FUN 107 logo
Get our free mobile app

Many Canadians dropped below our northern border in the 19th century to work in the mills of New England.

The New England Historical Society says "Little Canadas" existed all over the region, including New Bedford and Fall River and communities in Rhode Island. They brought their recipes for French meat pie with them.

How New Bedford's Landry's Meat Pies Came To Be
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Donald R. Landry and his wife Marie A. (Faucher) Landry were happily running their Country Donut Shop on Acushnet Avenue in the North End of New Bedford during the 1970s when other doughnut shops began to encroach upon their territory. Donald decided to add his homemade meat pies to the menu to remain competitive.

According to the Landry's Meat Pie website, by 1976, "Every Friday afternoon after making the doughnuts, Don began making his handcrafted dough from scratch for a savory flakey crust, while Marie painstakingly cooked to perfection select fresh ingredients including beef, pork, and spices to create the trademark Landry's Meat Pie filling."

As the company grew, Landry's Meat Pies became available at local restaurants and are still available in dozens of supermarkets throughout the area.

Donald Landry took ill in the 1990s. Landry's Meat Pies was sold in 2000 to Sean Healy of P&P Provisions (Prince & Pauper), who helped to distribute and market the pies early on.

Donald Landry was a lifelong New Bedford resident. He graduated from St. Anthony High School and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Textile Technology from SMTI, now UMass Dartmouth.

Landry died on November 11, 2008. He was 67.

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

Gallery Credit: Joni Sweet

LOOK: 20 American foods that raise eyebrows outside of the US

Stacker compiled a list of 20 unusual and uniquely American foods that might raise eyebrows outside the U.S.

Gallery Credit: Charlotte Barnett

More From WFHN-FM/FUN 107