Filling a Niche

“I’ve had so many people tell me it’s like they’re coming home,” says Kirsten Fuchs, who developed Baked Pie Company with pastry chef Emily McCarthy. Photo by Tim Robison

Kirsten Fuchs just wanted a slice of pie and somewhere to sit and talk with her daughter. Maybe with a good cup of coffee. The problem: they couldn’t find anywhere that fit their requirements.

“We ended up getting a [whole] pie and taking it home, and that’s not what we wanted to do,” says Fuchs. So she built a spot, and the people came. In early April she opened Baked Pie Company in Arden, and the success has been immediate.

Fuchs sold out of pies one Saturday, which meant she closed the shop almost four hours early. Voicemails are left with orders for multiple pies. There have been lines to try the cranberry cobbler, French coconut, or banana-pudding pies.

More than 30 varieties of desserts are possible, but the lists rotates daily with only a few (like honey pecan and brownie fudge) on the chalkboard each day. She remodeled an old Subway and added bricks, barn wood, mismatched tables, and tchotchke items from estate sales to turn it into a family-friendly sugar shack.

Fuchs, who worked in the corporate world and as a social-media consultant before this venture, and pastry chef Emily McCarthy, developed all of the pies. Each day, they include pastry options that are vegan, gluten free, and geared toward kids. “Everyone likes pie,” she remarked during a recent interview with Bold Life.

What’s your pie theory?
I want to keep it as homemade as possible. I don’t want it to look perfect. Our pies don’t look perfect, and that means they’re real. I’ll slice and some will fall to the side.

What’s been said about the interior?
I’ve had so many people tell me that it’s like they’re coming home or like they’re going to their grandmother’s. That’s what I wanted. I wanted a place where people, locals or tourists, could come together and sit and talk or read a book.

Do people buy more whole pies or slices?
The pie flight. Let me tell you about the pie flight [a grouping of sample sizes]. You get a scoop of vanilla or salted caramel ice cream and three slivers of any three pies you choose. It’s like a beer flight, but with a little more sugar. It’s Asheville. My idea was to have them just on the weekend, called “Friday Night Flights” and “Saturday Flight Fever,” but my husband said I needed to do it every day, and I’m so glad I listened. It’s a great item to share, but so many people are getting it by themselves.

How has your life changed since opening?
It’s very different. I wake up early, go to bed late. I was used to eating dinner at 5 o’clock and now I don’t eat until after we close. My back and feet hurt.

But how satisfying was it to look out and see a line of people? 
I sat in the back and snapped pictures. I couldn’t believe it. I hoped it would be successful, and prayed for that. I just didn’t think it would happen this quickly.

Baked Pie Company (4 Long Shoals Road, Arden) is open 10am-8pm Tuesday through Thursday, 10am-9pm on Friday and Saturday, and 11am-4pm on Sunday. 828-333-4366. See Baked Pie Company on Facebook.

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