FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Jocelyn Kramer and Nicole Bush never guessed a chance meeting at the park would lead to a baking business.
But that's what happened four years ago when the two, out enjoying the sunshine with their 1-year-old babies, bonded over their shared backgrounds. The Fairfield moms were both new to motherhood as well as to Connecticut. (Kramer is from Vermont while Bush is originally from Kentucky.)
"In getting to know each other we discovered a love of baking and so began spending time in the kitchen exploring and experimenting," said Bush, who, like Kramer, is self-taught and learned the craft from her grandmother's kitchen.
Pie Baby , their online bakery business, officially began in Fall 2015 and has been -- pardon the pun -- "hot" ever since.
The company, said Bush, came about organically. "We both love baking and have a rich history of doing so with 'secret' family recipes and trying out new twists on tradition," said Bush. "Eventually the conversations turned to dreams and plans, and last year we decided to test the waters. And it took off!"
So far, they've been selling their pies at the Black Rock Farmers Market as well as at the Downtown Bridgeport Market, but mainly, everything has been through word of mouth.
The start of the holidays is, as expected, their busiest season, and they are taking orders for Thanksgiving from now until Sunday, Nov. 20. They even deliver -- at least if you live in Fairfield or Westport. "We will be delivering on Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. For anyone outside our delivery area, we will designate a pick up spot to be arranged upon order," said Bush.
Among the popular pies: The Pies Your Bets (i.e. "Derby," a mix of chocolate, walnuts, pecans and a gooey center filling), Festive Apple Cranberry, and Maple Buttermilk with Candied Bacon.
What differentiates their pies from others, said Bush, is that they work really hard to do the pie justice all the way from the purchase of ingredients to the packaging.
"We take extra time to make any fillings from scratch, like our cranberry sauce or strawberry jams, and we make and hand roll each crust and place into the pans just like we watched our grandmothers do," said Bush. The two also try to incorporate flavors from Vermont and Kentucky to honor their roots.
"I think many people love our pies because they taste like they were baked right in your kitchen."
Pie Baby bakes out of the Lovely Cakes Commercial Kitchen in Stratford and often cooks late at night after their spouses are home and the kids -- they now have five between them, all under age five -- are put in bed. That's when they head to the kitchen and bake until the wee hours. "We blast the music and love every second," said Bush.
As for the future, Bush said they'd like to get to know their community more through additional farmers markets. And they want to keep offering pies that make people say "Wow."
The two admit they dream of one day having a storefront but that is still quite a way down the road. For now, they are busy filling orders for the holidays. They are accepting Christmas/holiday orders through Dec 15.
Pies are $25. Go to www.piebabyct.com for more information.
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