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Photo by Brian Addison.
For Laurie Gray, the phrase that “pie fixes everything” is more than a motto for her business, The Pie Bar—it’s an adage that runs deep in meaning given that, in less than a handful of years, Gray has moved from a cottage business to opening a brick’n’mortar spot in DTLB that has garnered national attention to now opening a second location in Downtown Glendale.
The baker had a long career in banking and marketing and, like many, felt a pang of emptiness with her profession. Blessed? Of course. But aligned with her dreams? Not quite, as the nostalgia of her memories in Tacoma, Washington flooded her ambition—specifically the smell of apples’n’cinnamon and the art of creating the pie crust, as taught to her by her mother.
“After a long career, I needed something else so I started baking pies for family and friends for the holidays in 2014,” Gray told me back in 2016. “It took off I got my cottage food license but I soon outgrew my kitchen and I had to find a commercial kitchen to bake in.”
MADE by Millworks on Pine became her first home outside her own kitchen, where the Pie Goddess would deliver her sugary, carb-y deliciousness to visitors at a weekly popup on Saturdays. That grew to delivering to 15 different coffee shops and restaurants—from Berlin to Steelhead Coffee, Portfolio to Aroma di Roma.
Her dream of expanding a la Piehole—which is opening a location in Belmont Shore—has always been on her mind.
“This is incredibly special for me,” Gray said, “To have not just one but two places where I can bake on site and serve delicious fresh baked pies warm from the oven… It’s genuinely wonderful.”
Almost as good as her Nutella Banana Hand Pies or Key Lime Pie or, or, or…
“Pie is still one of the simple comforts in life,” Gray said. “It reminds us of time spent with family.”
Amen to that. And yes, we’ll have another slice.