Pie! Who doesn’t love a delicious piece of pie? It’s cozy and comforting, especially on a chilly winter’s day, accompanied by a hot cup of coffee or tea. Yum!
After my visit to Parker Street Market yesterday, I headed across the street to Sister Pie in search of a slice of its fabled wares. This pie shop/bakery looms large in my mind, literally. I was introduced to it by a large billboard that once ran along I-94 that I passed (creeped along in a cluster of rush-hour traffic is more like it) daily on my way to my then-job in Dearborn. The billboard was touting it as the winner of a local entrepreneurial grant competition (Hatch Detroit). I was intrigued, not only because I love local small businesses and supporting them, but also because I appreciate a well-constructed baked good (it’s a legitimate art form in my book!). Sister Pie was added to my list of places to visit.
Apparently, this bakery was on a lot of other Metro-Detroiters’ lists, too. The bright little shop’s tables were crammed with people on my visit there yesterday afternoon. Fortunately there was a space open for me, at a high-top table with no chairs, where I stood and enjoyed the custardy, silky-sweet, salty goodness of a slice of salted maple. Two other pies were also being featured yesterday: a chocolate one called Red Hot Chocolate and a lemon meringue. Wanting some take-home treats, I also purchased an assortment of cookies – a triple chocolate one, a peanut butter-and-paprika, and a snickerdoodle-fennel seed – as well as a slice of pear- and chocolate-studded coffee cake. All were delicious in their own right, but the coffee cake and the snickerdoodle-and-fennel-seed cookie were especially memorable. I love when bakers and chefs aren’t afraid to experiment with flavors. Fennel seeds in a cookie, for instance, might sound odd, but they were the perfect complement to the cinnamony sweetness of the snickerdoodle.
So Sister Pie gets a major gold star in my book for deliciousness and inventiveness of its wares (and offering a pie with a crisp, non-soggy crust – holla, blind-baking!). Just as important, it also gets major props for ambiance. There was a convivial air to the place yesterday, a sense of connection. The staff members who helped me were friendly and obviously enjoyed being there, joking with each other as they worked; the woman who rang me up came over to me later to see how I liked the pie. When I’d explained to her in my excitement as I approached the counter that I was new to the place, a sixty-something guy who was obviously a regular overheard me and exclaimed, “You’re gonna love it!” I have a major soft spot for places full of friendliness, enthusiasm, welcomeness – maybe because the field that I work in in my day job doesn’t evoke those feelings in me nearly enough. I think we are all seeking to inhabit such inviting havens in our lives – ideally as places we work and hang out in on the regular, but at the very least, where we can stop in once in a while and savor a slice of pie.
8066 Kercheval St.
Detroit, MI 48214