Sunday – April 26, 2015
Pie Town Cafe
Pie Town, New Mexico
In addition to Pie-O-Neer, there is another pie maker in town: Pie Town Café.
Pie Town Café is open Sunday to Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Upon our entrance to the Pie Town Café we were welcomed like family by one of the owners, Bill VanPenn, wait staff and a few residents having breakfast. This is such a nice friendly town.
Pie Town Café offers breakfast and lunch fare in addition to pies. We had a delicious, hearty breakfast there. I had scrambled eggs, with sausage, potatoes and whole-wheat toast. Sharon had their pancakes. We finished our breakfast with a piece of cherry pie and a piece of multi-berry (blackberry, blueberry, rasberry) pie.
After our high caloric breakfast at 12:30 p.m., we embarked on a 5-mile walk through the BLM camping area. We returned to our campsite at 2:30 p.m. The cherry pie we ordered from Pie-O-Neer on Saturday, for a pickup at 2:00 p.m. today, should be ready.
We walked over to Pie-O-Neer, arriving about 2:45 p.m. The owner, Kathy Knapp, again greeted us like family and announced our cherry pie was waiting for us. She just had to box it up. We had our picture taken with Kathy and then settled in at one of the tables to have a piece of pie. Sharon had the apple cranberry and I had the apple crunch.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon at Pie-O-Neer, talking with Kathy and other customers. One of the customers, Nita, has been a resident of Pie Town for the past 40 years. We had met her earlier in the day at the Pie Town Café having breakfast. Nita has a small cabin in town that she lets backpackers and cross-country bicyclists use overnight for free. She lives in another home farther from town.
While chatting with Kathy, we had inquired how long it had taken before Pie-O-Neer became a profitable business venture, since it opened in 1995. She explained that the business finally turned the corner around 2010. Over the years she leased the business out twice and had to find outside work a few times in order to make ends meet. Eventually, visitors started finding out about Pie Town through social media. Then on November 30, 2014, Bill Geist of CBS News Sunday Morning, did a segment on Pie Town. Since that program aired, visitors from around the U.S. have flocked to Pie Town, including visitors from Germany and Scotland.
Pie-O-Neer is closed during the months of January and February. During the months they are open, they are only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On March 15, 2015 they had their best day ever, selling over 200 pies. A whole pie sells for $27.95 and a slice for $5.45.
Bill VanPenn, the owner of the Pie Town Café arrived around 3:15 p.m. and ordered some of Pie-O-Neer’s green chile stew. He remembered us from our visit to his café that morning and commented he just loves their green chile stew.
Around 3:20 p.m. a sharply dressed older gentlemen in a long sleeve white shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots and a stetson hat entered Pie-O-Neer. He made his way from table to table, introducing himself and making small talk. Sharon and I thought he must be the mayor of Pie Town. If he wasn’t, he should be! He was so handsome, with a wonderful mane of white hair and a marvelous personality. He made his way into the art gallery, a separate room addition at Pie-O-Neer. He promptly seated himself behind a set of drums. He was followed into the room by Kathy, two employees of Pie-O-Neer and two or three residents of Pie Town, carrying their instruments: a cello, a bass fiddle, two with guitars and Kathy with her violin. At 3:30 p.m. a music fest was in full swing at the Pie-O-Neer. We were told this was the first time this year the group had gathered for an impromptu music session. We just sat back and enjoyed the music and the singing until closing time at 4:00 p.m.
We subsequently learned that Pie-O-Neer and Pie Town Café schedule their days of operation so as to not to compete against one another. The one exception being Sunday. That is just another personal quality of Pie Town that will bring us back for many return visits.
The adventure continues in Pie Town.