Hi, I'm FoodpreneurInstitute.

I'm a mentor in Pie

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My Pie Corner

Why I want to be mentor in this category:
I want to be a mentor because I have been in the cottage food industry since 2006. I am an educator and I am passionate about the micro food industry. Small niche food topics are rarely given a lot of attention, making it difficult for food entrepreneurs to get the information, money and support they need. I want to share my knowledge, experience and wisdom; allowing others to learn from my mistakes, my victories, my defeats and my unwavering ability to land on my back, cause if I can look up...I can get up!

What inspires me in this category:
The category inspires me because pie baking is a dying art. The pie crust is the biggest challenge for many bakers, along with creating a way to make pie crust on a large scale without a pie press machine.

I am a cottage food specialist and advocate who wrote a book about starting a cottage food operation, in my case a home-based bakery business. How to Start a Homebased Baking Business.

Biggest Lesson Learned:
The most important lessons I've learned is starting a business takes time and money. Even a small home-based business needs a business plan and selecting a product you believe in is essential. Food entrepreneurs are special people and what they do is personal, emotional and does not always make the kind of money anticipated. You must understand your reason for going into the food business; and begin with the end in mind. Remember, success starts with finding customers who are not only willing to pay for what you make, but able to pay the price you ask.

Books, classes, teachers that have helped me:
My mother and Mrs. McBrier are my teachers, both in their late 80s, these women are the best pie bakers on the planet and taught me more than 15 pie crust recipes. There is a special pie crust for each filling, one size does not fit all. The books that inspired by include The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Farm Journal's Complete PIE cookbook: 700 Best Dessert and Main-Dish Pies in the Country1965rnby Nell B. Nichols and Al J. Reagan, and The Creative Cooking Course Hardcover by Charlotte Turgeon (I cooked more than 90% of the recipes in this book while serving in the United States Navy, living in Okinawa, Japan. This was my culinary school education and it paid off royally.

Education, Awards, Pro Experience:
I am the owner of the Charlotte Pie Authority, a homebased bakery I have operated for one year in Charlotte, NC. I owned and operated Cooking with Denay Catering for seven years and was written up in Bon Appetit Magazine in the "Too Busy to Cook" section and I hold a MS in Distance Education and I am a Professor teaching Communications and MA Practicum.

My Tips:

  • Spend time on pricing your product carefully, it is difficult to change once you have set the price.