An Experiment In The Kitchen Equals Sweet Business Opportunity
Throughout history experiments have led to great success.
Kevin Robinson, Jr., aka The Pie Dude, knows a little about this.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the DeSoto High School sophomore was looking for ways to occupy himself, as did many others around the world. In the process, he discovered he’s a great baker, especially when it comes to pies and desserts.
“Baking pies was an experiment and was never intended as a business,” Robinson said. “We had a family barbecue and everyone was bringing dishes, so I decided to bake a sweet potato pie.”
Between the internet, referencing his aunt’s recipe – and, of course, his own magic, he created a dish that was quite delicious and drew the praise of his entire family.
One Sale Sparked A Demand For A Pie Business
“Everyone agreed and said it was amazing. My mom posted it on Facebook that night and one of our church members, Angela Carter, asked if we were selling it,” he recalled.
“At the time I didn’t know know how to charge since I wasn’t prepared to sell pies. The price was low because it was the first pie I made, so we hadn’t came up with an official price.”
One sale quickly turned into five pies a week, then five became 10 a week, and so on. He officially became a business in the fall of 2020, and it has been booming.
The average price for one of his pies is $15. The list includes sweet potato, pecan, sweet potato/pecan combo, key lime, chess, lemon chess, apple cinnabon, and he makes a mean peach cobbler.
They can be purchased online at thepiedude.com. Orders must be placed 48 hours in advance for same week pickup. Pickup days are Thursday and Friday only.
On May 1 you can see him create in person in a live demo at noon at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. It’s part of Black Heritage Celebration: Summer of Sculpture Exhibit, the Return of Zimsculpt.
“I am actually most excited about my upcoming demo, but also nervous,” Robinson said.
“This will be my second invitation to The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. For this pie demo, I will be making a key lime pie so I’m really looking forward to it.”
While many great bakers and chefs grew up in the kitchen, not so for Robinson. He said his ability to create goodies “just happened on its own.”
Known For Sweet Potato & Sweet Potato Pecan Combo
His best sellers, he said, are sweet potato and the sweet potato and pecan combo, which is also his own personal favorite.
“I make it with my sweet potato pie filling on the bottom and pour the pecan pie filling on top, then add a layer of pecans. This pie is best of both worlds,” he said.
And he’s continuing to experiment with other flavors, he added.
Through it all, Robinson is humble – and grateful.
“I do not do this all by myself. I don’t know where I would be without my mom,” he said. “My mom is such a big help, especially during school hours. I joke she’s my ‘momager.’ (mom and manager). She also does my graphics, so whatever you see on Facebook or Instagram, all the credit goes to her.”
Ironically, Robinson’s career choice goes hand-in-hand, or tooth-in-tooth with his current profession.
“I would like to be a dentist. I am currently taking two medical classes right now,” he said. “I don’t know if baking will be my forever job, but if the business does expand, I would like to get my own shop and hire a staff. I will leave the rest of it up to God and see what he has planned for me.”