To celebrate National Pie Day, we thought it'd be dandy to serve up a slice of nice. So we called upon Zack Ginies, a Toronto-based web developer who last month inspired big city locals to connect with a down home classic with his Pie Drive. Here's his story.
No one can argue that pie is delicious. It’s served hot, cold or, in some cases, frozen. It’s sometimes savoury, usually sweet and almost always the only thing that can follow a huge Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It’s a flaky crust, fresh fruit and usually more whipped cream that any one person should consume in a single sitting.
(Image courtesy of: traderzed)
I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who didn’t like pie. Well, there was one person, and I have a sneaking suspicion that she prefers fake tans over real ones, but that’s a whole different story.
I spent about 65% of my childhood eating pie in a small town just east of Ottawa. My sister and I would spend our summers there, visiting our grandmother and helping her pick ripe fruit from local berry farms for her raspberry, blueberry and apple pies. The rest of the day would be spent watching her meticulously make dough, slice apples and bake some of the best pies I’ve ever had.
In October of 2012, my grandmother passed away.
Looking for a way to remember her, my fiancé and I decided we needed to do something. It had to be something big and fun and something that she would have loved. The following November, The Pie Drive was born. During the first week of December, I would single-handedly bake and sell eighty pies using my grandmother’s recipes, marathon-style. Oh, and I’d give all the money raised to Covenant House.
Now, I had some experience baking pies before, usually for a housewarming or potluck, but never mass produced for eighty complete strangers. Within a week, we had completed branding, a website and a plan of action. We wanted to make sure everyone got a fresh pie, so we decided that customers would be able to pre-order online a few weeks prior to launch, first picking a flavour (apple, blueberry or raspberry), then a pickup time (AM or PM).
When the site launched in mid-November, I didn’t expect that all eighty orders would be filled. Well, I was wrong. We managed to pre-sell all eighty pies within six hours. It was an incredible feeling.
(Image courtesy of: traderzed)
As the baking week approached, I started to get nervous. Even though I had baked what felt like hundreds of test pies leading up to it, I started to think of all the things that could go wrong. What if the power went out? What if I accidentally dropped a pie?
Well, the power did go out, and I think I dropped several, so I had to hastily make backup pies. By the end of the week, I had raised about $2,000. The Pie Drive was a success.
2013 marked The Pie Drive’s second year, with all eighty pies sold in just under an hour. It’s incredible that something as simple as pie can bring people together, whether it be at the kitchen table following an incredible holiday dinner or, in my case, in pajamas while watching Maury reruns with my two gray cats.
by Zack Ginies