It started with a woman and a rolling pin.
“I just wanted to bake pie,” Texas Pie Company founder and co-owner Julie Albertson said. “Bake pie and make a living, do something I was good at.”
Twenty years later, Texas Pie Company is a staple of life in downtown Kyle. With an inviting, small-town vibe, the bakery-café serves 32 varieties of scratch-made pie and a daily lunch menu to locals and tourists from around the world.
In 2016, Albertson’s generations-old, homemade recipes put Texas Pie Company on the map when the bakery’s Original Pie Dough Puck won H-E-B’s statewide Quest for Texas Best contest. Now, pie is putting the entire city on the map: The city of Kyle has applied with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the “Pie Capital of Texas” trademark. City officials expect to hear back early next month.
“When the city announced the new name, I was stunned,” Albertson said. “I’m so honored and grateful. But it’s not just about Texas Pie Company. It’s about all of us, the city as a whole. If someone hears about the Pie Capital of Texas, they might come down and visit [other businesses] or even buy a home here, because they find Kyle so charming.”
That slice of small-town charm is exactly what Kyle city officials are celebrating.
“We had been searching for quite a few years for our identity and a brand the city could be known for,” City of Kyle Economic Development Specialist Victoria Vargas said. “The majority of what we heard is that people were coming off the interstate for pie.”
The response in and outside of Kyle has been overwhelmingly positive, Vargas noted. Many local businesses have embraced the theme, toting pie-shaped candles, giving away mini pies and sporting “certi-pied” stickers in their windows. The city’s first annual Pie in the Sky hot air balloon festival drew 12,500 visitors over Labor Day weekend last year. And in local and statewide press, buzz is starting to build.
“Pie is just fun and it makes people happy,” Vargas said. “In Kyle, we celebrate all of our businesses and all of the different pies, sweet and savory, they have to offer: pizza pies, Frito pies, chicken pot pies …. We’re having so much fun with it.”
For Albertson, the (pie in the) sky is the limit.
“I’d love to have a ‘Pie Mall,’ a storefront here showcasing pies from small-town bakeries all over the state,” Albertson said. “It makes me emotional, everything that’s happened, all these dreams coming to fruition. I’d love to be a pie emissary for the whole beautiful state of Texas.”
Whether running the mixers that produce crusts for 28,000 pies each Thanksgiving or flooding the pie displays with warm light, PEC is proud to power Texas Pie Company and the new Pie Capital of Texas. Get a slice and learn more about the city’s new brand.