Summer is almost over - stock up on Summer Fruit Pies to enjoy all year long

Voyage ATL - Inspiring Conversations with Amanda Wilbanks of Southern Baked Pie

Have you heard the news? Our Owner & Founder, Amanda Wilbanks, has been featured in Voyage ATL Magazine for her inspiring conversation and story. Discover the inspiration Amanda brings through her storytelling:

 

Amanda Wilbanks, Owner & Founder of Southern Baked Pie Company

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Wilbanks.

Hi Amanda, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
I started from very humble beginnings. Despite growing up in a Southern Appalachian family where cherished recipes were shared like rare heirloom plant cuttings; I initially did not foresee my becoming the owner and founder of one of the South’s premier pie companies. My journey into the world of pies began in 2011 when my mother-in-law taught me the art of creating an unmatched, melt-in-your-mouth, all-butter pie crust—the cornerstone of my pie creations. Although I had grown up cooking in my mother and grandmother’s kitchens making cakes, family dinners, cobblers, and everything in between, I had never made a pie crust from scratch.

Infatuated with the beauty and versatility of the French pâte brisée pie crust, my newfounded love quickly turned into an obsession, filling my home with the irresistible aroma of freshly baked pies. At the insistence of my husband Alex, who faced a rapidly expanding waistline due to my constant baking, I had to make a choice: stop baking or start selling pies. The journey into the pie business started with a modest venture at a local craft fair, evolving over a couple of months, as I continued to bake and sell pies from my home.

As demand rose, my home transformed into a bustling hub equipped with three ovens. Baker’s racks filled with supplies began to take over my tiny home. The need for a dedicated storefront became evident, leading to the opening of the first retail store in Gainesville, GA in 2013, followed by two more in Buckhead & Alpharetta in 2016, and the fourth in Vinings in 2019. Today, Southern Baked Pie Company boasts both online e-commerce and wholesale divisions, shipping pies nationwide, inviting the entire U.S. to “Celebrate Life with Pie.”

I like to think my pies are truly a delightful addition to any occasion, making them an irresistible choice for a variety of situations. Renowned for our signature caramel pecan pie and savory chicken pot pie, our selection also includes the indulgent chocolate chess pie and the comforting pot roast pie – a personal favorite. The versatility of our pies is unmatched, making them perfect for weeknight family dinners, where the rich flavors and quality ingredients bring warmth to the table.

I like to think our pies bring families back around the family table at the end of the day.

Additionally, our pies make for exceptional gifts, whether it’s to celebrate the joy of a new baby, welcome someone to their new home, acknowledge a milestone or achievement at work, mark a birthday, enhance holiday festivities, or express sympathy and support during challenging times. With the perfect blend of flavors and a touch of homemade goodness, our pies offer a thoughtful and delicious way to convey your sentiments on any occasion.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced is the process of scaling the business from scratch. Building everything from the ground up, meant creating intricate processes from manufacturing to logistics, to product development, marketing, and everything in between. I’ve had wonderful business mentors along the way, which has helped tremendously. The requirements of selling a perishable product added extra obstacles we had to overcome. The labor-intensive nature of handcrafting each Southern Baked pie presented its own set of challenges. Consistency is key when selling a product, and the handmade nature made that difficult at times.

Navigating these hurdles over the past 11 years required a scrappy and meticulous approach and quick, yet calculated decision-making. Now, with a team of 75 employees and a robust leadership team, I can confidently rely on their expertise to establish processes and propel the business toward its goals. I learned a long time ago that goals are just dreams that will never be met unless you have a plan and process in place to achieve them – realizing that has helped me overcome more challenges in business than I can count.

We’ve been impressed with Southern Baked Pie Company, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Southern Baked Pie Company makes made-from-scratch pies – both sweet and savory dinner pies. We ship pies all over the US daily and fulfill orders through our e-commerce bakery store, bake and sell pies out of our 4 retail stores, and also wholesale our delicious products.

Southern Baked Pie Company began in 2012, when I launched the business armed with only $400, a stellar pie crust recipe, and a dream to spread the joy freshly baked pies bring to everyone. I wanted to bring back the nostalgic and heart-warming feelings that pie exudes. Food is a universal connector in my mind. Tastes and smells are directly connected to your memories. I wanted to create a product that filled people with joy, reminded them of slower times and togetherness, and brought back a feeling of nostalgia with every bite.

I can’t think of any other food that does that better than pie. At Southern Baked Pie Company, we make both sweet and savory pies – perfect for the mundane weeknight dinner or a special celebration. There’s no greater gift in the world in my mind, than when someone brings you food. I love watching people gift our pies to those who have been hurting, to someone who may have lost a loved one, to someone who just welcomed a new baby, to someone who just purchased a new home, or to someone who just received an award or promotion at work. Today, Southern Baked Pie Company boasts four retail locations across North Georgia and Metro Atlanta, with thousands of pies shipped nationwide daily. Southern Baked Pie makes both sweet and savory pies. There is something for everyone!

What sets Southern Baked Pie apart is not just our mouthwatering selection of sweet and savory pies, but our commitment to staying made by hand as we have scaled and grown the business. Our commitment to staying true to time-tested family recipes, rather than adventurous flavors, helps ensure we stay a nostalgic brand that people trust and return to time and time again for consistency and quality. I also believe our amazing team members set us apart. Our stores and store team members are warm and inviting. When you walk into our stores, it is our goal to make you feel wrapped in a hug. We want you to feel part of our pie family. We make it a priority to know our customer’s names and remember their favorite pies. We care about our customers and their families like no other company out there.

The recognition we’ve gained over the years has made me extremely proud of the brand. Featured on prominent platforms like O Magazine, The Today Show, Southern Living Magazine, Garden and Gun Magazine, and on the Hallmark Channel – the company has become a standout in the world of pies; as well as being named by Thrillist and Mashed one of the best pie shops in America. I would say my most proud moment was when Blake Lively shared her love for my pies! After all, she is the ultimate connoisseur of great brands and products. Being featured by and partnering with lifestyle brands such as Reese Witherspoon’s company, Draper James, & HGTV’s Erin Napier from Home Town, means the world to me.

One of my proudest accomplishments has been becoming a cookbook author. I wrote Southern Baked: Celebrating Life with Pie, as a way to preserve my family recipes for my children to enjoy for years to come. I never dreamed the book would be featured in national publications and this led to a book tour that landed me on the Hallmark Channel. Getting to connect with readers and fellow bakers/cooks through the book tour gave me such joy and proved what I’ve always believed – that food is a universal connector for people. The recipes are tried and true, very southern and comforting, and easy to make for both weekend nights and special occasions. It’s a cookbook you don’t want to sleep on.

My passion extends beyond my role as the founder; I’m a wife and mother of 3. I love to cook and create new recipes for both the pie shops and my cookbooks with my children’s help in the kitchen. Cooking is my love language. If I’m not in the kitchen baking up something new, I’m spending time on the lake with my husband and children.

Whether it’s forming alliances with major players like Williams Sonoma or having my cookbook featured in national publications, Southern Baked Pie Company continues to make a mark. Their pies, enjoyed by celebrities and featured in renowned magazines, are a testament to the brand’s excellence. As they proudly ship elegant, handmade pies nationwide, Southern Baked Pie invites everyone to celebrate life’s special moments, big and small, with the joy of pie.

 

We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Voyage ATL Magazine for featuring Amanda & her business. And of course, a big thank you to all of our customers for your continued support. We look forward to sharing more delicious pies & stories with you in the future!

Order for shipping

Order for In-Store Pick up

 

 

Check out the full article here:

Inspiring Conversations with Amanda Wilbanks of Southern Baked Pie

Source: Voyage ATL Magazine

 

We do not own the rights to this article or anything related to Voyage ATL Magazine.