| Massachusetts travel | New England dining out | Ever So Humble Pie Co., Walpole MA
Off the Pie Charts: Ever So Humble Pie Company in East Walpole, Mass.
Andrea Taber finds her dream job by creating homemade farm
trans fats pies -- made from scratch and ready-to-bake, at the Ever So
Humble Pie Company
Andrea Taber prepares to make pies at the Ever So Humble Pie Company in East Walpole. Photo credit: Ever So Humble Pie Company
Article by Eric H.
Andrea Taber tastes the sweet smell of success on a daily basis.
Tired of bureaucracy and waning one-on-one patient care, Taber, many years ago, left behind 25 years of nursing to create a business made from scratch: pie making.
The brave move was no "pie-in-the-sky" idea, as Taber opened the Ever So Humble Pie Company in East Walpole, Mass., in 2002. With a vision of making preservative-free pies sourced from local New England farms employing responsible farming methods, Taber's business has gained popularity as a wholesome alternative to mass-produced, assembly-line pies laced with monosodium glutamate, trans fats, hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and other offending, unhealthy chemicals.
"If you take pride in what you're doing, then you use the best ingredients," said Taber. "We use unbleached, unbromated flour, natural corn starch and farm produce including locally grown apples. The Big Apple Farm in Wrentham (Mass.) supplies our apples. We use 640 pounds of their apples a week. During Thanksgiving, we used 2,800 pounds of the apples."
The beautiful first-floor 3,500 retail facility, tucked away in East Walpole's historic Hogan Building, is a sight to behold which includes a quaint dining area with fireplace overlooking the Neponset River, a living room section with a comfy sofa and chairs, multiple freezers with all the goods, high industrial building ceilings with draping banners honoring our military and philanthropic organizations, and the expansive open kitchen where bakers create their magic.
Spacious retail facility at Ever So Humble Pie Company (photo by Eric H.)
The dining room area is perfect for coffee, tea and Ever So Humble snacks (photo by Eric H.)
Likening her hand-crimped pies to the "pies your grandmother used to make," Taber said that a key to creating quality pies is employing "slower production." that focus on "making pies the right way." The result is a noticeably fresher-tasting pie than grocery store offerings. Taber also takes the road less taken when creating pies. She favors cinnamon and lemon over nutmeg in her blueberry pie. Flavors like raspberry nectarine, "Squmpkin" (sugar pumpkins and winter squash) and orange pineapple create different, delicious pie options. The Jumble Berry, the company's "Blue Ribbon Winner," pie is sort of like a local farmer's market "greatest hits" package with tart Cape Cod cranberries, wild blueberries, strawberries and oranges.
"Mass produced products use more seasonings than fruits, so customers know they are tasting the 'real thing' with our pies," said Taber.
Customers have the option of
buying fruit pies that are either thawed and fully baked or to bring
bake themselves. The frozen, ready-to-bake pies are also available at
local farms (see below for locations). Additionally, Ever So Humble
"Cutie Pies" -- ideal as individual dessert -- and fruit crisps,
tea breads, scones and cookies. All are homemade and absolutely
Taber also offers incredible-tasting savory pies (zucchini frittata, sausage, pepper and onion frittata, chicken pot pie, Shepherd's pie, Canadian meat pie) scones, whoopie pies, nutty tarts, fruit crisps, hermits and raspberry hearts (a heart-shaped pastry made from pie crust and filled with tart ruby raspberries). Taber also offers gluten-free pies for those who have related food sensitivities.
Taber's passion for pies can be detected the minute a customer leaves the car and enters the "Hogie" Building (named after the building's owner, Terry Hogan), an old factory where "you would expect to get bearings or sheet metal, not pies," said Taber. Outside and inside, the sweet, pie aroma permeates the area so strongly that it makes one wonder if all the grandmothers in Western civilization moved to East Walpole.
Exterior of Ever So Humble Pie Company
(photo by Eric H.)
A welcoming entrance into the Ever So
Humble Pie Company (photo by Eric H.)
create these baking masterpieces, including Taber's son Daniel who
passed on a construction-oriented career to, like his mother, work a
he truly enjoys as a production manager.
has gained local and national media attention, including The Food
Network that featured Taber's business on the show "Recipe for
Success," focusing on people making successful career changes. Yankee
Magazine once chose the Ever So Humble Pie Company as one of the five
best pie companies in New England.
"It has been nice, the coverage we've been getting," said Taber. "We really take pride in what we do, so it's nice to get noticed."
Taber's love for baking dates back to her Worcester, Mass., childhood where her mother and two grandmothers' great baking skills served as blueprints for her business.
"Both my grandmothers were scratch bakers and my mother taught me how to make 'everything' from scratch," said Taber. "My grandmother from my mother's side had 11 children and she also made everything from scratch. She made many things for the Polish church. I am the third generation and am blessed to have those genes."
The strong love for baking never left Taber, even during her busiest times as a nurse. As a graduate of Memorial School of Nursing and Worcester State College, Taber worked eight years as a neonatal ICU nurse at the Floating Hospital in Boston, as well as working in home care and teaching nursing. Her growing dissatisfaction with the nursing profession resulted in considering a career change, as she found great joy developing a pie line for, and working weekends, at Ward's Berry Farm in Sharon, Mass.. At that time, Taber also obtained a residential kitchen permit for her home in Sharon, Mass., and later shared space at a friend's bakery in Medway, Mass.
She started thinking more about a baking career and less about continuing in nursing.
"Nursing changed a lot," said Taber. "It wasn't hands-on patient care. I liked the one-on-one patient care. It became more about paperwork and numbers."
Starting from scratch and baking from scratch eventually became a success story for Taber. A growing customer base, and a cooperative program with the local farms where they supplies the materials to Taber and then sell the final products has resulted in a beloved daily routine that goes well beyond just making money. Taber works an average of 20 more hours a week than when she worked in nursing and doesn't have the consistent paycheck of her former profession. She wouldn't have it any other way.
"It isn't about compensation," said Taber. "There are many other immeasurable awards that come with what I'm doing."
The facts on the Ever So Humble Pie Company:
Location: 153 Washington St., East Walpole, MA 02081
Telephone: (508) 660-9731
Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Sat. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
So Humble pies are available at these Massachusetts locations:
Milton Farmers Market at the Wharf at Lower Mills, Milton, from mid June through mid October.
Allandale Road, Brookline
Crescent Ridge Dairy
Bay Road, Sharon
Hill Street, Northbridge,(seasonal)
Marble Hill Farm
Rt 117, Stow
Owens Poultry Farm
585 Central Ave, Needham
8 Romney Rd, Bridgewater
Tangerini's Spring Street Farm,
Spring Street, Millis (seasonal)
Brookside Rd, Needham
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