Is Memphis the new pie capital of the South?
Memphis knows pies - chess pie, pecan pie, dirt ‘n’ worms puddin’ pie. But, you can put aside pecan and the regular cast for now thanks to one Cordova, Tennessee spot quickly rising into the national spotlight.
The Pie Folks’ "Slap Yo Mama" Chocolate Pie is outselling traditional flavors by a landslide as it becomes a household name in Tennessee and beyond. “If we don’t have that pie, we don’t even have to open our door,” joked owner Audrey Anderson in a recent interview with News Channel 3 Memphis, WREG.
At The Pie Folks, owners Audrey and husband Ron along with their team, make an impressive 27 flavors of pie, with 17 available daily at their Cordova shop, right outside of Memphis. The top-selling, “Slap Yo Mama” Chocolate Pie is an old-fashioned-style, fudgy chocolate pie. It’s won numerous awards at the annual National Pie Championships in Orlando, Florida. It also has a secret behind what makes it taste that good.
Southern Living spoke with The Pie Folks and while Audrey won’t give the ingredients away, she told us this. “A pie should really taste pretty much the way you want it raw. That is what I do, I eat raw batter to figure out what the pie is going to taste like,” said Audrey.
Her journey to piedom is far from an overnight success story.“I was working in corporate America for 19 years and my husband and I decided we wanted to do something on your own,” Audrey told us. After getting much praise for her pies when she brought them to potlucks or events, she realized she might be onto something. “I wanted to do something that I loved to do. And, I love making pies and cookies and sweets. I’m a sweets girl!” Despite having no formal culinary training, Audrey threw herself wholeheartedly into the business. Now, they’ve often got lines outside the door with regulars and new folks every day. Soon they’ll be featured on an upcoming episode of Food Network's “Super Southern Eats.”
Though The Pie Folks have scooped up many awards, Audrey’s litmus test for the pie’s excellence is a customer story she often finds herself retelling. “One day, I had a customer around age 19 come in. He said ‘You’re not gonna believe this, Mrs. Audrey, but a friend of mine had your pie and I wanted some. He said it was soooo good, and he didn’t want to share it,’” Audrey said. “‘He said ‘I’ll let you have some if you eat that bug. Believe it or not I ate that little bug, just to get a slice of that pie. And it was worth every bite of that little bug.'"