Featuring: The Pie Ladies Bakery
“Everybody told me, ‘Oh, making pie is so hard,’ but I’ve always had them come out right,” Amanda Schrader told me as she sipped a cup of tea around a table at Pie Ladies Bakery located at the Triangle Plaza on Rt. 1 in Pembroke.
The bakery, which opened Oct. 15, is a family business operated by Amanda and her mother, Iva, as well as a few other family members who pitch in to help where they can.
The Pie Ladies offer a wide variety of pies and favorite sweet treats, as well as coffee, tea, cocoa, and soups. They also offer an array of tempting loaves of bread: white bread, Anadama bread, and French baguettes. Amanda said they are hoping to be able add bagels to that list soon.
The shop offers a cozy, warm atmosphere where customers can sit and stay a while to enjoy the comfortable setting, the delicious food, and the conversation. The Pie Ladies love talking to their customers. The shop has become quite a hot spot for morning coffee groups who like to get there early for a slice of their warm egg and sausage braid, and afternoon gatherings that come for a slice of lemon meringue pie.
Iva, the owner, runs the shop while Amanda does most of the baking in their small, certified home kitchen. The delicacies you find in the glass case at their shop are truly homemade. The Pie Ladies try to keep things as fresh and local as possible.
“We use as many ingredients as we can from local farmers. We get eggs from farmers right here in town,” Amanda said.
Amanda, mother of four kids — Caleb, Ruth, Silas, and Justus — and her mother, Iva, began making pies to sell at the Perry Harvest Fair back in 2005, when her third child, Silas, was just a small baby.
“I must’ve been crazy,” she laughed. But her “crazy” way of making some extra money took off. People loved her pies.
“The pies seemed to bring a lot of smiles and Mom and I liked that,” she said.
Every year for the next 10 years, Amanda and Iva sold their homemade pies at the Harvest Fair in Perry. Oftentimes, she sold out of pies before the day was over. And now at her shop, the case stays well stocked with pies, and customers can also call in and order pies or anything off their menu.
Baking is a family tradition for Amanda and Iva. Amanda has been making bread alongside her mother since she was a little girl.
As for Iva, she started making bread when she got married 45 years ago. Her first attempts were not successful.
“It came out like a rock,” Iva said. “It was just like a brick. You could’ve built a house with it,” she shook her head and chuckled.
Now it’s just the opposite. Iva can make scrumptious, fluffy white bread that leaves her family, and now her community, scrambling for more. The Pie Ladies use Iva’s tried-and-true recipe for bread.
Their knack for making pie crust came with a little help from Iva’s best friend.
“I learned how to make good pie crust back in ‘85. I did a home-ec course, and my good friend taught the pie crust making, and that’s how I learned, “ she told me between helping customers. One customer happily purchased a cinnamon roll, one of their biggest sellers besides apple pie.
The toughest part of running the bakery? “Taxes. State Regulations,” sighed Iva.
But it’s worth it to the Ladies.
“We saw a need for a bakery. There’s not many places where people can gather between here and Calais. So this bakery not only supplies a financial need for our family, but also a community need, “ said Amanda.
“I like to please people,” Iva said as she looked up smilingly at a customer who entered the shop.