It's Pie Time
800. That’s about how many pies The Pie Factory makes on an average day during their “season” – roughly October through April as Snowbirds come south and holiday orders roll in. And they’re in production mode five days a week. Do the easy math and they’re making and baking about 4,000 pies a week – in addition to a variety of other sweets and savory items they serve for Sunday brunch and lunch throughout the week.
But even though the name and production numbers might make you think differently, this is no factory. Human hands make these pies, cakes, brownies and more. They measure out the ingredients, beat eggs, slice bananas, shave chocolate, pipe icing, add final decorations and sprinkle on toppings.
Bobbie Barmore opened The Pie Factory with her late business partner Marvin Pugh more than 20 years ago. Their focus at the start: Florida key lime pie, made with a 150-year-old recipe.
That’s still the pie they’re best known for – it’s a rich, sweet and tart concoction with a pale yellow color and graham cracker crust. And the recipe is a well-kept secret: Bobbie stores it in a safe deposit box and, after two decades, in her head.
But today, their lineup is much deeper, with 30-plus pie varieties that include fruit pies such as strawberry-rhubarb and applecaramel- nut, as well as decadent concoctions like peanut butter fudge swirl. They also make more than a dozen types of cakes from scratch, along with cookies, brownies and muffins. It’s a small factory’s worth of sweets, with people, not machines, producing each one.
Bobbie and her team serve things up at their Walsingham Road location, but The Pie Factory also supplies desserts for more than 40 restaurants throughout Tampa Bay, from Rusty’s Bistro at the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater to Central Avenue Oyster Bar in St. Pete. And, if you’re not in the mood for a drive or planning to join far-away family for the holidays, they’ll deliver – shipping anywhere in the United States.