Last week Austin, Texas-based bakery Tiny Pies opened their first store outside of the Austin area right here in Waco at Union Hall! The opening was a massive success and we are happy to welcome Tiny Pies to the Union Hall family.
We had a chance to speak with one of Tiny Pies’ co-owners, Amanda Wadsworth, on the success of her and her mother’s business as well as their thoughts on the expansion:
Q: Talk to us about Tiny Pies. What’s your mission? What are some things you want your customers to know?
AMANDA: “So Tiny Pies started because my son suggested that we make a pie that he could take in his lunchbox to school. We opened 11 years ago in Austin, we have 4 stores there, and our Waco location is our first one outside of Austin. Our mission is to create community by baking up smiles, so we’re thrilled to be in Waco and to be able to do that here.”
Q: Can you briefly recap your journey as a purveyor of freshly baked, scratch made pies?
AMANDA: “Sure! So I grew up baking with my mom and my grandmother and my mom grew up baking with her mother and grandmother and so we bake off of four-generational recipes that are passed down from four generations in our family. Food has always been really integral in my family; when you’re sad you eat, when you’re happy you eat. Everything revolves around the kitchen and food and so I think it kind of came from a love of creating joy through food. That’s what we hope to do everyday.”
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned from operating in Austin for so long?
AMANDA: “Well it’s difficult. I mean Austin is a foodie town and when we launched there weren’t as many restaurants and bake shops as there are now. Definitely the competition is high which is actually great because it helps everybody stay at a really high level and create really great product. We have to always be innovating so we’re always doing that in our kitchen, trying to come up with new products that our customers will like. We source all of our ingredients locally that we can when in season, that’s really important to us. And even here, we’re selling local! We’re selling drinks that are made from a San Antonio manufacturer and water that is actually caught in rain water wells and dripping springs. We try to partner with other businesses as well that support Texas and so when people support us they’re supporting other local businesses and local Texas farmers. That’s a super important thing about our brand.”
Q: Tiny Pies has been featured in the likes of Oprah Magazine and the Huffington post, what does it feel like to get such widespread recognition?
AMANDA: “It was fantastic! It was so exciting I can’t even tell you. It’s been great, and I think the reason we’ve gotten so much national attention is because the story just resonates. My mom and I started this and kind of the American Dream story. You came up with an idea, we took it to a local farmers market director and started there and we’ve just slowly grown organically. And now our Waco store here will be our fifth store. It just shows that if you have a dream and you work really hard and you surround yourself with good people that you can make it work.”
Q: What excites you most about this expansion?
AMANDA: “A few things, I mean just dipping our toes outside of the Austin market to see how people will enjoy our products somewhere else is really exciting. We love that Waco is a small town and has small town values. I think that our mission is to create community by baking up smiles and to create tiny moments with our tiny pies. I think there’s no better place to test that than here in Waco. Since we launched the idea here and started working at Union Hall to launch our store, I mean we joined the Waco Chamber and we’ve just met so many kind people. Everyone in this community has been so supportive of the brand already so we’re just thrilled to be here and excited to be open today.”
Q: What’s your go-to menu item new customers have to try?
AMANDA: “This month we have a S’mores Pie on the menu on the sweet side, that’s our pie of the month for August. It’s an absolute go-to, it’s one of my favorite pies we ever make. Then I would say a traditional pie that we always have on the menu is our Tart Cherry which is also a super favorite of mine. And then for savory I would say obviously Chicken Pot Pie is a fan favorite but right now in August we have a vegetarian meatless beyond-meat version of a Nacho Pie, which is my new favorite pie of the month for sure.”
Q: So what’s your favorite pie to make?
AMANDA: “I don’t really make pie anymore, I don’t really have the time but I would say I’m all about the fruit. I love our fruit pies because we don’t add a whole lot to them and it’s just really highlighting the tastiness of the fruits. So probably our fruit pies. And maybe my grandmother’s Pecan Pie, my great grandmother’s Pecan Pie.”
Great tiny pies for great tiny moments! You can find Tiny Pies at 720 Franklin Ave. inside Union Hall. Below are their hours of operation:
For Tiny Pies’ menu and more information visit https://tinypies.com/
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.