Photo: Iain Bagwell
A Slice Of Pie
Ron and Mickey Hopson, both retired teachers, opened their tiny pie shop 25 years ago. The beloved community stalwart remains unfussy. Rows of pies with tawny crusts and bubbled-over edges are displayed on pink cloths beneath the counter.
Why we're sweet on it: Every town should have a time-capsule pit stop like this for classic American pie.
Order this: French silk pie—a fluffy chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream. asliceofpie.info
Mom's Apple Pie Company
Occoquan & Leesburg, VA
The two locations of Mom's exhibit different personalities: Leesburg has the air of a gourmet shop, while Occoquan includes a general store where you can buy fishing bait.
Why we're sweet on it: Much of the fruit used in the pies comes from the 40-acre farm run by Mom's owner Avis Renshaw and her brood.
Order this: The signature pie, with a mix of apple varieties for a satisfying tang. Mail order available; momsapplepieco.com
Gleaming hardwood floors and artful wall installations add up to the sleekest pie shop in 'Bama.
Why we're sweet on it: Pie Lab also strives for greater good: It functions as an outreach center that instructs youth on small business development and other skills.
Order this: Gingersnap pumpkin pie with a tangy cranberry glaze. Mail order available; pielab.org
Hidden in the lower, back level of a retail complex in Atlanta's tony Buckhead neighborhood, Mims Bledsoe's year-old shop feels like a clandestine pie haven. The 28-year-old Mims, as cute as pie herself, also rotates tarts, tassies (mini pies), pot pies, and fried pies through her repertoire.
Why we're sweet on it: On Fridays and Saturdays, the shop keeps longer hours for "late-night pie." As people leisurely show up, the place takes on the air of an in-the-know soirée.
Order this: Custardy coconut cream pie crowned with frothy whipped cream. Mail order available; the-pie-shop.com
Phoebe Lawless spent eight years at Durham's acclaimed Magnolia Grill, learning from James Beard Award-winner Karen Barker. She took her talents to the thriving farmers markets, where her pies earned a big enough following to support her own bakery.
Why we're sweet on it: Phoebe bakes with the seasons, sourcing ingredients from the same local farmers with whom she once sold her pies.
Order this: Mexican chocolate cream pie, in winter. piefantasy.com