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Move Over Cupcakes, Pie has Arrived in Arlington

by Katie Pyzyk | June 7, 2012 at 10:45 am | 7,922 views | 111 Comments

There are a lot of places in Arlington that sell cupcakes, but up until now, it’s been tough to find someplace devoted to pie. That’s where Heather Sheire and Leah Haskvitz come in, with their business “Livin’ the Pie Life.”

They first began operating in October, and now have their own booth at the Wednesday Farmers Market in Clarendon.

The two, who have children attending the same school, met while working at a PTA bake sale a year and a half ago. After months of learning about regulations and starting a business in the area, they began testing their original recipes.

To keep in line with health codes, Sheire and Haskvitz use the kitchen at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. They bake on Fridays and invite neighbors over for pie tastings. They’ll make several versions of the same type of pie with just one thing changed to get input on what tastes best.

The women change their menu often based on what’s in season. In the fall, apple caramel pies were a big hit, and now berries are a summer favorite. They also use locally sourced ingredients, and no additives or preservatives.

“The whole idea is that we want people to feel good about pie,” Sheire said. “Pie is dessert. Pie is special. Pie is handmade. It should come from local sources.”

Not all of the offerings are sweet concoctions like the pecan pie and margarita pie. Customers have also been digging into savory pies like tomato basil or macaroni and cheese.

Haskvitz contends that the pies blow cupcakes out of the water.

“It’s got fruit, it’s seasonal,” Haskvitz. “I think it’s just got a healthier twist and it’s got a little more of that home, rustic feel.”

On Fridays, the duo deliver the freshly made pies to the homes of customers who ordered online. They arrive dressed up in 1950s garb to add to the business’ nostalgic, family vibe.

“It just makes it fun,” Sheire said. “We’re trying to have fun with this whole thing.”

Contributing to the nostalgia is the practice of giving a $1 credit to anyone who returns a pie tin from the larger pies ordered online. Those tins are then reused, as they often were in decades past. The tins for the smaller pies sold at the farmers market are recyclable, as is the rest of the packaging.

Although they’ve thrown around the idea of starting a food truck, they’re not interested in a brick and mortar location. Right now, they’d like to keep a focus on convenience.

“If we have a store, you have to come into the store. But we want to bring it to you,” Haskvitz said. “It takes care of an area that I don’t think is covered. There’s a lot of storefronts here, there aren’t that many where you have the convenience of ordering online and having it delivered to you.”

Although they’ve only been in business for a few months, the women have been accruing regular customers. Both say they’re proud of their products.

“Our first priority is that the pie should be fresh and delicious,” said Sheire. “Our goal is that you have the best pie you’ve ever had.”

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  • 1RLI

    The web site indicates they charge $28 for a strawberry-rhubarb pie, plus $5 for delivery within Arlington. Seems kind of pricey. And whats with the girl on the left in the photo throwing make-believe gang signs?

    • JamesE

      I want to try that mac and cheese pie with bacon but $38!

      • TGEo^

        For that price it ought to come with a happy ending.

        • Frito Pie

          If the pies are good enough, believe me there’ll be a happy ending!

    • LP

      She’s holding the top of the pie box open.

      • 1RLI

        Nope. Click on the photo to enlarge it. That’s a rather un-natural position for holding the top open.

        • LP

          Again, she’s holding the top of the pie box open. Was probably caught off guard by a photographer.

          You’re reading a bit too far into it.

          • Banksy

            Maybe the clear window on the box top is confusing 1LRI.

          • 1RLI

            Oh, I really don’t care either way. I just think it makes her look silly. Either way, I wouldn’t pay $28 for a fruit pie.

    • HighViewPunk

      That’s proof that Spanish gangs are taking over.

      • The Dope of South Arlington

        That’s what I said.

      • Chuck Biscuits

        More importantly, what’s the left hand look like?

    • CW

      It is a lady in a floral dress who makes pies for a living showing a peace sign. I do not see anything suprising about this.

      • curious george

        Fingers facing forward is a peace sign. What she is showing is the british version of the Finger. Or gang sign. Doubt that was intended but is worth a yuk and half a chuckle.

        Anyways an attractive lady who bakes pies and can hang with la raza is pretty awesome.

    • Traffic Jammin

      Where did you get $5 for delivery in Arlington? The website FAQ says flat $10 fee for delivery in Arlington, $15 for Falls Church. I was on the verge of scheduling an order for one of the Mac & Cheese pies for my office, just for the novelty of it, but $44? Nope.

      • John Fontain

        They must have just upped the delivery charge in response to this press, because it did say $5 and $10 when I first read the article and clicked on their website.

        • Traffic Jammin

          &%^#$& CAPITALISTS!

          But seriously, good for them. I’ll probably never be willing to fork over this kind of dough even to try their pies once. But if there’s only two of them, the right business move is to price almost everyone out of the market until there’s only enough clientele left that a two person business can handle it.

  • SomeGuy

    “…it’s been tough to find someplace devoted to pie.”

    Despite Virginia’s draconian rules, I think Crystal City Restaurant is a top contender in this department.

    • Mike Hunt

      It’s a big hit in my house as well. . .

      Boy did I pick an appropriate anonymous name of the day today!

      • TGEo^

        You say that, or anything like it at the CCR

      • Non

        I honestly went to school with a kid with that name… no joke

    • Good Grief

      If I only had 5 cents for every time you’ve utilized ‘draconian’ to make your point on ArlNow comments…

      • SomeGuy

        You’d probably have 5 cents. Maybe 10. Send links if you can find more than two. Otherwise I will consider your comment worth the typical value I place on your comments, which is considerably less than 1 cent.

        • Good Grief

          Ha and yet you still respond to them!

          • SomeGuy

            I respond enough to correct the record. But please don’t misconstrue my response as my considering your “wisdom” valuable.

  • DeportEmAll

    WAAAAYYYY too expensive!

    Fail.

    • Traffic Jammin

      Yeah but there’s apparently only two people doing every single step, including delivery, for this little business. If they don’t price out most people, they could never make and deliver all the ordered product. Honestly, their biggest danger is that $44 for a mac and cheese pie, delivered, might *not* price out enough Arlingtonians.

      • JamesE

        $48 with bacon! Anyone want to go 50/50 on one?

    • clrdon

      Still cheaper than Pie Sisters in Georgetown

  • JohnB

    Finally!

  • ClarendonDweller

    I do worry about their prices being high but am giving them the benefit of the doubt that they have done their market research on this. On another note, I really like these kinds of features on ArlNow – thank you for featuring new, local businesses. I’ll definitely look for them at the farmer’s market.

  • Clarendon

    The peanut butter oreo pie is insanely rich.

  • Whitney Wilson

    The pies are terrific. We’ve tried 5 or 6 different ones, and they make great gifts. Plus Heather and Leah are wonderful people and easy to work with.

    • Traffic Jammin

      Even assuming only two deliveries in Arlington, you already dropped about $180 – $210 on pies?

      • Whitney Wilson

        Mostly for gifts or small parties.

        • CW

          I could throw a pretty decent party myself with $200.

          • JamesE

            500,000 soft tacos

          • CW

            Seriously, that 10 18″ pizzas from Costco ($90) and 5 cases of Bud ($100).

  • Roycroft

    They look good but are on the small side for the $$$.

    • Roycroft

      My mistake the ones on their site look much bigger and say they serve 10.

    • John Fontain

      Some people like them small.

      • jackson

        Keep telling yourself that.

        • John Fontain

          I set myself up for that one, I guess. Nice job.

  • Arlington, Northside

    Break loose of the local supply chain and make me a Coconut Cream Pie, or even better, a PinaColada Pie.

  • BallstonNOTBoston

    These are Armageddon prices, O/U = 6 months.

    • CW

      You forget, this is Arlington, if you set a price high it automatically makes the item worth that much. We’re talking status symbol here, folks. “Oh, you got that pie from Whole Foods? Peasant.”

      • John Fontain

        You know it’s sad but true. Sad but true.

        • CW

          Yeah, I mean we’ve got an article on the one-year anniversary of an olive oil shop on the front page here…anything is possible…

      • drax

        I don’t know about that, but that’s certainly true with gifts. I’d rather give a pie as a gift from these people than one with “Safeway” on it. I think most people would think that way, including you.

        • CW

          Repackage that stuff, bro. All my friends get Costco wine and they love it.

          • John Fontain

            There is a great story in the Washington Post from a few years back about this pie shop out in the Leesburg area. People from DC area and even farther away drive an hour or more out there just to buy their pies because this cute little pie shop out in the country makes such awesome pies. The article even talks about how people buy these ‘legendary’ pies as gifts for others around the holidays and how embassies buy them, etc. The pies are really expensive, but everyone swears they are worth every penny.

            Turns out, the pie shop doesn’t even make the pies at all, they just buy frozen Sara Lee pies and heat them up in their ovens and pretend like they are homemade.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/22/AR2006112202176.html

            Just goes to show that many, many consumers buy and overspend based on perception and image rather than actual product quality and value.

          • Pie

            Moms Apple Pie Store makes them in Herndon but store is in leesburg and they are homemade!

          • 1RLI

            Ha! Classic!

          • CW

            More locally, Larry’s “Homemade” Ice Cream does the same thing.

            http://www.larryshomemade.com/index.php

            Their ice cream is “provided” by some place somewhere that’s been making it for 25 years…

          • John Fontain

            And yet, just because they put the word “homemade” on the sign, guppies will line up and overpay for the ice cream thinking they are buying some artisanal stuff.

          • Frito Pie

            Best pies in the area bar none are located at the Catoctan Mountain Orchard store on Rte. 15 in Thurmont, MD (about 10 miles south of the PA border). The blueberry lemon buckle pie is enough to weaken your knees. I swear you will not be disappointed.

  • Steve

    That Crystal City Restaurant comment was one of the greatest things ever, and none of you even commented on it. For shame.

    • SomeGuy

      Finally some appreciation! Thanks, Steve.

  • Sim City

    It is pricey.But it’s probably not worth it for them to sell for much less. It’s also an incentive to re-learn your pie-baking skills. I just did, using a Mark Bittman food processor crust recipe that works really well and isn’t that hard.

  • drax
  • jigga

    anyway to pick up the pie ourselves? i dont need anyone dropping it off at my place, nor would i be home to open the door

    • CW

      I read “dropping it on my face” lol.

    • bc

      article mentions they have their own booth at the Wednesday Clarendon farmer’s market.

    • John Fontain

      go to the “farmers” market in Clarendon on Wednesday.

      • Clarendon

        Yes, not all or even most of the vendors are farmers but I love teh Wednesday market at the Clarendon Metro. I hope it grows more. This is a good addition. Props out to the Pickle-guy.. I love Pickles and Pie and I did like the Pork guy too, but he no longer is there. His pigs were almost too cute to eat though:

        http://forestfed.com/Photos.htm

        • John Fontain

          You said pickles and pie. Sounds like a great name for a meat market type of bar.

          • Clarendon

            Well, I said Pork too, so maybe you can work that into your meat market bar name.

            British pubs have interesting names. I’d frequent the Ferret & Trouserleg, across from my hotel when on travel in Edinburgh.

          • Captain Obviously Oblivious

            Pickles Pork ‘n Pie. My gift to you.

  • DarkHeart

    Leah’s got a Joanne Woodward thing goin’ on.

  • JimPB

    Kudos to the women for initiative, innovativeness, wholesome pies and, from the review comments on their web site, pies to relish and rave about.

  • Anon

    Is this “news” (even in the very loose definition of Arlnow or a product placement??

    • ClarendonDweller

      I’m confused why you wouldn’t find it interesting to hear about a new business in Arlington…even if you just glanced over the article and decided to move on (or don’t like pie), at least you learned something.

    • Traffic Jammin

      It’s a new, super small and very novel local business. It’s more than justified on an Arlington blog that keeps people up to date on things like local government votes on whether or not to allow a restaurant to have outdoor seating.

    • speonjosh

      PS. This comment was *not* me. I promise.

    • Michael H.

      Yes, this is news, of the local variety. That’s what ARLnow is, a site that covers local news and items of interest. I’d guess that the vast majority of readers enjoy hearing about new small businesses in Arlington. I do, even if I probably will never order from this particular business.

  • Hank

    I think her pie looks delicious.

    • mr. t

      hmmmmmmmmm, either way i read this, i agree.

  • John Fontain

    The woman on the right also owns that company that delivers fruit bouquets.

    • speonjosh

      Edible Arrangements?

      • John Fontain

        yes sir.

        • speonjosh

          Dang. No wonder she is charging so much for the pie. She doesn’t need the money……

        • Douglas Parker

          Ummmm no. Incorrect.

          • John Fontain

            Sorry, Mr. Parker but you are incorrect about me being incorrect. Said another way, I’m correct.

          • Douglas Parker

            There is zero documentation on the internet to support your claim. Generally that’s a bad sign.

            Care to humor me with a source?

          • Douglas Parker

            The company is headed by Tariq Farid, who partnered with his brother Kamran Farid to open the first Edible Arrangements store in Hamden, Connecticut in 1999. After designing the computer systems, training manuals, production and profitability tracking and supply chain management process, they began franchising the concept in 2001. The first official franchise location opened in Waltham, Massachusetts.
            -Wikipedia (verbatim)

            Your turn. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd go…

          • John Fontain

            I assumed you understood that most locations are franchised. I wasn’t talking about the entire chain, i was talking about our local Arlington location. And my ‘source’ is personal knowledge of the family.

          • speonjosh

            Ohhhhhhhh! That’s completely different.

            She owns a franchise. She doesn’t own the company. I thought it seemed a little incongruous that she’d be peddling pies at a local farmer’s market if she owned such a large company.

            So, yes, she still needs the money. Too expensive for me, but I’m sure Arlington can still support quite a few $28 pies…..

          • Douglas Parker

            I agree speonjosh, that is completely different.

  • RedShirt

    I love pie. I’m a sucker for them. IMO, the price point is about $5 too high to have regular customers. You might get first time customers but for them to repeat, I would hope they consider lowering it. I’ll definitely try the mac-n-cheese and the coconut cream.

  • KimC

    I agree that it sounds expensive, but the Bacon Mac & Cheese one would serve 8 people for lunch. Could 8 people eat lunch for less than $44 at any of the dozens of lunch spots dotting Ballston? Sure, they could spend less if they made a sandwich at home, but not going out. Lunch at Vapiano is usually in the $12-15 range for example.

    • John Fontain

      You might be able to get 8 slices out of the pie, but I would disagree that a piece of that pie would be enough to constitute a meal in and of itself comparable to going out to a restaurant.

      However you slice it, those are expensive pies.

      • nom de guerre

        Nino says “a slice is nice.”

  • http://VerySad Wendy

    Good for them! I second Coconut Cream Pie! Will have to check them out at the next Farmer’s Market.

  • j

    speaking of cupcakes, where can I meet a nice girl in this city? frankly she doesnt even have to be nice.

    • mean girl

      Have you been to the Ballroom?

  • Mayday Malone

    I would have gone with a James Bond themed name like “Live and Let Pie” or “The Pie Who Loved Me”.

    • HighViewPunk

      Pies like us?

      • DarkHeart

        Pie is off the charts?

        • TGEo^

          Do they sell muffins?

          • Andy

            Only in Nevada.

  • http://www.dcfud.com JAY

    No question…the pies are expensive. A teeny one is $10. However, i bought one of the teeny chocolate salted caramel chess pies and it was amazing! That good and i don’t impress easily.

    JAY
    DCFUD, Editor-In-Chief
    Wwe.dcfud.com

  • Palena

    I just want to thank ArlNOW for once again investigating a random bit of goings on that I was literally just wondering about. One of these ladies live in my neighborhood, and I have seen the sign on her car, and was wondering what was up!

  • quigley

    Agreed! Without ARLNow I would have been mystified when this nice looking lady in a frilly dress showed up at the farmers market throwing gang signs and slangin’ pie like a straight-up OG. Clarendon, represent!

    • Miss Priss

      You win the prize for funniest comment, totally.

  • Marie Antw…

    I am in the 1% and love these expensive pies. To the 99%, I say, “Let them eat cake.”

    • DarkHeart

      Chop chop.

  • MaureenH

    Before you decide on whether it’s a good price you should taste some of their pie. I am not exaggerating when I say that the lemon pie I had from them last week was the best I have ever had! The crust was unbelievable. I think these pies far exceed the taste of Dangerously Delicious Pies.

    • H St NE Frequenter

      DDP SMOG (Steak, Mushroom, Onion, Greyeure) is the BEST!

    • RedShirt

      The point isn’t about quality. It’s a GREAT pie. The point is that how often are you going to lay down $28-$30 for a pie. Once? Twice? Or perhaps four or five times a year? They’re going to need regular customers to last in this market.

  • charles

    Pie affirms the richness of our humanity but cake is divine. In other words, there’s a reason no one ever said “Let them eat pie.”

    • speonjosh

      In the late 18th century, I imagine most people had what we would call “cake” extremely rarely. Or pie, for that matter.

      Nowadays, cake is common, pie remains uncommon (owing, no doubt, to the comparative difficulty in making pie).

      In a similar situation today, what would Marie have said? “Let them eat caviar?”

      Cake is pedestrian. Pie is extraordinary.

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