By MORGAN KING – STAFF WRITER
It is an American classic, a Southern favorite, and everyone has an opinion on their favorite flavor. It’s pie—one of the best pastries around—and it has found a home in Danville.
Located just a short way from the Centre bookstore, sits Pies for You. From the street, the bright orange canopy makes you think the shop will be small and cozy; however, upon entering
Pies for You, the shop is quite spacious with plenty of room to sit, eat, and catch up with friends.
In the back of the shop is a full kitchen, a necessary asset since all the pies and cookies are baked fresh on location each day.
Wilma Brown, the creator, owner, and sole employee of Pies for You, has been a resident of the Danville community most of her life.
Pies for You is not her first business venture downtown. In the past, Brown has maintained an art gallery in town that has represented over 100 artists. She has also taught Education courses at Centre College.
“Now, I’m in a totally different business: food service. But in a way, it is still an art,” Brown said.
The idea of Pies for You came from Brown’s interest in learning new things. Before opening the store, she had never seriously baked.
“It was a lot of self interest. I said, ‘I think I want to start making pies.’ And once I started, I looked into the business of it, pricing out the ingredients and what I would charge for a pie and so on,” Brown said. “I really have only been making pies for two years, and of course, everyone makes cookies. A couple of years ago I had some time to sit down and just learn.”
Brown then had to master the many technical elements of baking delicious pies.
“It takes awhile to learn how to make things like the crust, and it is not something you can do once, you have to keep doing it,” Brown said. “So what started out as personal interest all at once became an interest in a business. And so I thought, six to eight months ago, well I’ll look into renting a store front and having a business.”
Brown states that she has not had a slow day since she opened.
“In fact, I really underestimated what the interest would be,” Brown said. “I had no idea there would be such an interest in pies and cookies.”
The popularity of these baked goods stems from Brown’s technique: the simple idea that the best way is homemade.
“All of them are homemade. Most bakeries, because they are selling in bulk, have to do some things pre-processed, like the crust or the filling. But I don’t have to do it that way. I start from scratch,” Brown said.
Pies for You makes around 20 different varieties of pies within four different categories: custard, fruit, nut, and meringue.
They include favorites such as apple, pumpkin, pecan, and coconut. The most popular flavor is Brown’s Chocolate Fudge. Its creamy texture and flakey crust make for the perfect dessert to enjoy on cool fall day.
Students have already been taking advantage of the delicious goodies at Pies for You, including senior Barrie Schmidt.
“I went this summer right when it opened,” Schmidt said. “They had gingerbread cookies in the shape of Kentucky and they were 50 cents. I really enjoyed it. It was very close to campus, very convenient. It was also very welcoming. I felt the warm southern hospitality that you get in a small town. I will definitely be going back and getting more pie.”
Even with a growing interest in Pies For You, Brown wants to keep things simple and manageable.
“I’m not willing to expand. I want to stay small,” Brown said. “The reason for that is you can go larger and sacrifice the quality or stay small and keep the quality because there is no way to keep a homemade pie and make it in an assembly line fashion.”
Pies For You prices are $3 per slice/$11-$18 for a whole pie, and 50 cents per cookie/$3-$7 a dozen.