Isn’t pie the best? Especially when it is straight out of the oven, still warm and filling the house with sweet, fruity smells.
The way to tell a great pie from a garbage pie is the crust. It should have a nice bite to it, a little crispiness. Lackluster pie is all too common, like most frozen pie from the grocery store, once you bake it up in the oven, you are most certainly going to be disappointed with soggy crust and a mediocre filling.
Why can’t someone make a pie that is everything a pie should be, plus has a dash of booze in it?!?
If you live in Stillwater, Oak Park Heights or Marine, odds are you know Sara Hayden, aka The Pie Lady.
She owns Sara’s Tipsy Pies, the darling little pies of my dreams, with a perfect crust and just the right amount of alcohol. If you haven’t heard of her or her pies, you need to get with the program, Friend! Consider this a little head’s up on why Sara’s Tipsy Pies need to be in your life and oven.
Sara has been making the best handpies (trust me on this) out of the St. Croix Valley and partnering with local brewhouses and vineyards to make delicious flavors for 5 years now.
Starting under the name “Rustic Pies of Stillwater” in 2011, she has been creating tempting flavors like Irish Apple (with 2 Gingers Whiskey), Drunken Pumpkin (using Flat Earth’s Pumpkin Ale), and Boozy Blueberry Lemon (featuring a rose’ from Chateau Saint Croix Vineyards).
In total, there are 14 pie varieties on the menu, touted as “a little bit of naughty baked inside.” The top-secret crust recipe is the same one her mother used and every pie is “made with love and local alcohol.”
Tipsy Pies are everywhere.
They are sold at almost 60 local retailers like Kowalski’s, Lunds & Byerly’s, Super Value, Hyvee and Country Market across the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin.
She caters wedding pies to couples who want a more unique option for dessert, like pie pops shaped like Minnesota, while also offering yummy (and boozy) cakes and cupcakes. The spunky redhead carries this giant workload because she “looks at life like a Border Collie, I get bored easily and like new challenges.”
She just finished up her second year selling Tipsy Pies at the Minnesota State Fair, where she has space inside the Food Building featuring a booth that is adorned with a glowing, neon rendition of her updated logo.
Pulling 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. shifts for 12 days was exhausting, but she knew the hard work would pay off, and has learned to streamline for the fair crowd the second time around. Her first year at the Fair, she sold 15,000 pies. She attributes her success to support from the Fair Administration and creating a solid product; the alcohol aspect brings people in, but it’s the crust that brings them back.
Her bakery is being transitioned from the Marine General Store down to a new 850 foot space in Stillwater at 2000 Industrial Boulevard, with hopes to be open for production and wholesale/wedding order pickup around Thanksgiving of this year.
Tipsy Pies has been a presence in Marine and the General Store since the beginning and will continue to sell fresh pies in their bakery case after the move.
Hayden’s family life is just as full as her professional one. Did I mention that she has a dog, husband and 5 kids? That was part of the reason to move the bakery from Marine to Stillwater, only minutes from her home in Oak Park Heights.
She says she “hasn’t been a mom for a while” and wants to make more time for home and work life.
On the horizon in 2017 is online ordering via the Tipsy Pie website and a line of savory pies. Hayden hopes to start with one that features a beer from Lift Bridge, the same company she partnered with when making her first pies.
She would like to start mentoring new entrepreneurs as time goes on, too.
“It would be fun to be on the other side,” she said,” but that only comes with experience.”
Learn more at sarastipsypies.com or find Sara’s Tipsy Pies on Facebook.
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