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The Pie Man — A Second Helping ...
March 14, 2008 - Phyllis Sigal
... "Helping" being the operative word here.
I received an email from the Pie Man's wife, Michelle Oliver, the other day, thanking me for writing about her husband's pies.
She filled me in a bit on how Oliver's Pies came to be. What a nice story it is.
According to Michelle, it was the fall of 2004, when their son, Adam (who is now 20 and serving a mission in Argentina for the family's church), was going to be traveling to South Korea for a world Taikwon-do tournament. (We featured him in the newspaper at the time.) Her husband was asked to be a chaperone.
"Where would come up the money" was the question Jim and Michelle asked next.
"One night (actually 1 in the morning), my husband sat straight up in bed and said, 'I'm going to bake pies,'" Michelle related.
"That's nice, honey," she said, and went back to sleep.
"The next morning, he went out and bought supplies, and the kids started taking orders from neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, etc. We made 400 pies in six weeks and completely paid for the two of them to go to Korea," she said.
Adam earned a gold medal at the tournament, by the way. And, another note, the Olivers have six children — six wonderful children, ages almost 12 to 22. I happen to know a couple of them who went to school with my children. (Although I didn't know that Oliver's Pies was related at the time of my pie discovery!) Nicer, sweeter, more generous kids you'll never meet!
But, Adam's gold medal was not the end of the pie business.
"We had so many people asking us if we were still baking pies that it took us less than a year to start the business — complete with a commercial kitchen in a spare room that we had. We opened the pie shop in Centre Market one year ago and just recently moved the entire baking operation down there as well," Michelle said.
When the pie business was in their home, "Jim would work on crowns (he had a crown and bridge business in their home) during the day, and we would pitch in and help bake the pies in the evening. Then in February 2007 we opened down in Centre Market, and life really got crazy because I had to be down there six days a week, come home and still do all the mom things AND bake pies," Michelle said.
Michelle pointed out the kids used to ask "What's for dinner," when they came home from school. During those crazy times, they'd ask, "ARE we having dinner?"
"At the end of December, Jim quit his other business and since he LOVES to bake, he's enjoying this new venture (exhausted, but happy)," Michelle reports.
Michelle now works at Easter Seals, and Jim's parents help out with the customers and baking, so things are bit more normal, now.
So, for a slice of deliciousness, don't miss Oliver's Pies in Centre Market!
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