Flaky Crust Pies/VisitingNewEngland small business partnership - Local Small Business Stories
Flaky Crust Pies in Norton, Massachusetts, Only Has Pies For
This south of Boston pie shop takes made-from-scratch
pie making to the next level
Ashley Nichols and husband Andres Diossa at Flaky Crust Pies in
Article and photos, unless otherwise noted, by Eric Hurwitz.
created on 5/24/2019.
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Ashley Nichols opened Flaky Crust Pies in Norton, Mass. in February
2019 but soon had to close its doors.
It's not what you think, however. Ashley found so many customers lined
up at her friendly pie shop that she had to close on Tuesdays to
catch up with making enough chicken pies.
"It was a hard decision to make but it did allow for us to get ahead,"
said Ashley, 33. "I was so happy when I hired more people and was able
reopen again on Tuesdays!"
Chicken pot pie.
Located in a building that previously housed a mortgage company, Flaky
Crust Pies has seen a high interest rate of locals stopping by for
delicious pies made from scratch. Some customers prefer take-out while
sit in the spotlessly clean, sunny dining room with lots of windows
enjoying a savory
and/or sweet pie, often complemented by a nice hot cup of coffee.
Main dining room at Flaky Crust Pies.
A Johnson and Wales University (Providence, R.I.) graduate, Ashley has
concept of pie making to an art level by often outperforming some of
most highly regarded pie shops in the Boston area. Following the
critical tenets of those great pie shops, Ashley eschews cheap
artificial ingredients and favors crust basics like flour, sugar, salt
butter. She and staff know exactly what to do with those
basics, using the right amounts in the correct combinations at the
optimal oven temperatures. Then there
are the fillings -- richer than the richest words could ever describe.
A slice of delicious chocolate cream pie.
"She has a definite gift for making pies." said Lynne Neto Street, a
regular customer. "I am a return customer many times over. I have
ordered pies for the upcoming holiday weekend (Memorial Day Weekend). I
love being able to
call and say I’ll be there at 5:15 -- what do you have hot -- or can
heat me a Chorizo and rice pie? There you have it, supper is done!!! My
guests this weekend will be so happy to see the apple pie they raved
about at Easter. I also ordered the mixed berry pie which is equally
amazing. The staff is very helpful and accommodating, always pleasant.
I’m in the customer service business and they have great customer
That customer service makes an already tremendous experience that much
better. Everyone here is so nice -- what you would expect in a pie shop
but don't always see in the rushed, often impersonal 21st century.
Ashley and husband Andres Diossa are humble, kind and helpful to their
customers. Employees like Andrea, at the front counter, make the visit
something wonderful to remember as she interacts fabulously with all
walks of life whether it be local conversation, tips on what to order,
or just to lend a listening ear to, say, the elderly and blue collar
coming in from a hard morning's work.
It's truly a family-run business with friends there for support.
"My cousin works in the back and my in-laws come in to clean," said
Ashley. "I have friends from Raynham (where Ashley grew up) coming into
congratulate us. It's really nice to have that support."
Building The Ultimate Pie Shop
Pie display case at Flaky Crust Pies.
From a very young age, Ashley had
a strong interest in cooking. That continued through her schooling at
Bridgewater-Raynham High School although they offered
little more than home economics as anything closely related to cooking.
Ashley's mom, Debra, has an extensive management/financial background working in the
senior healthcare field but little culinary experience.
"Growing up, my mom was doing brownie mixes," laughed Ashley, who grew
up enjoying Food Network shows.
One day after watching together the PBS special, "A Few Good Pie
Places," Debra encouraged Ashley to open a pie shop. She knew Ashley
had a lifelong love of cooking, binders full of recipes and a skill set
that seemed ideal for owning this niche business. Ashley worked a few
years at Hope and Main, a culinary business incubator in Warren, R.I.,
as well as two summers at a Farmers Market to hone her skills. During
that time, Ashley
and Debra searched extensively for a location to open the business and
finally settled on the Norton location.
Flaky Crust Pies on Route 123 south.
"There were few pie shops in the area," said Ashley. "I thought, 'How
come we have to go to Boston for something like this this?'
The building took about 10 months to renovate, including upgrading the
septic system and HVAC, re-tarring the driveway and making the former
mortgage company into looking like a home away from home.
Entrance to Flaky Crust Pies.
"It was a real eye opener," said Ashley. "A real learning experience
seeing what had to go into starting a business."
Virtually right after opening the store with Andres,
they found a slice of the American Dream happening much sooner than later
with up to 100
customers a day and lines out the door on Saturday mornings.
"I didn't expect that," said Ashley, of the crowds. "We are still
figuring things out. In the beginning, we were making more savory pies
instead of desserts. It's all evolving. We are getting lunch crowds as
well as take-out.
It's exciting to see."
Chicken pies -- with fantastic-tasting diced chicken in a creamy
thyme-garlic gravy -- reign as the best seller with around 250 made
at this writing. The apple pie also stands as a most popular item.
Ashley and staff peel about 50 lbs. of apples for every day they
are open to create an incredible tasting pie -- lightly spiced with
cinnamon and nutmeg, then baked in the buttery flaky crust.
Rachael Duff, a North Dighton, Mass., resident would not hesitate to
drive 20 minutes for Flaky Crust Pies.
"I could spend all day eating there," said Rachael. "Oh my God, it is
so good, everything. I mean everything! My husband thinks I am
crazy talking about
it all the time, but it's that good. I said to my son that we have to
stay there some time, eat some pie and have a coffee (for me). I have
never been to a place like this. They make the pies from love. The
chicken pot pie is so mouthwatering. Everyone in the family said it was
the best they ever had."
More Mouthwatering Sweet And Savory Pies
In addition to the chicken and apple pies, Flaky Crust Pies offers, at
Chocolate Cream Pie -- chocolate cream
made with fresh milk and
topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Mixed Berry Pie created with
strawberries, blackberries and blueberries
under a lattice top.
Oreo Coconut Cream concocted with
coconut filling within an Oreo crust
-- then topped with chocolate ganache, whipped cream and an Oreo.
Lemon Chess Pie made with a lemon
filling thickened with cornmeal added
to the all butter pie crust and baked until slightly golden.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb with
strawberries and rhubarb and a crumb top. (Photo credit: Flaky
Crust Pies Facebook page)
Peanut Butter Brownie Swirl -- a
chocolate chess filling, a peanut
bottom layer and a peanut butter swirl on top. (Photo
credit: Flaky Crust Pies Facebook page)
The Colombian and Portuguese pie --
Chorizo and rice made with local Portuguese Chirizo (from Fall River,
Mass.), red pepper,
tomato, green onion, cumin and other seasonings stuffed into a double
pie crust. (Photo credit: Flaky Crust
Pies Facebook page)
Vegetarian pie made with coconut curry
sauce, chickpeas, potatoes and
carrots. (Photo credit: Flaky Crust Pies
French Meat Pie (another best seller)
features a combination of ground
beef and pork,
onions, garlic, potatoes and a seasoning blend. (Photo
credit: Flaky Crust Pies Facebook page)
Mike Hardman, an East Bridgewater, Mass., native and veteran local
journalist has been singing the praises of Flaky Crust Pies since
virtually the beginning of its business.
"It's so nice to see a quality product and business being developed by
a young couple," said Hardman. I'm a big pie guy and theirs is one of
the best I have ever eaten. My wife, Roseanne, and I took home a
chicken pot pie and wished we had taken another one. It was the best
one I've had and I can't recommend it enough."
Fresh ingredients on the stove at Flaky Crust Pies.
Tasting the sweet and savory pies at Flaky Crust Pies brings up an
point about Ashley's artistry: You just can't teach this stuff.
While Ashley did attend a culinary university, it is clear that her
hard work, intuition and the lifelong process of evolving her craft
serve as the main ingredients for her baking brilliance. While some
other businesses rest on their laurels --whether it be downgrading to
Crisco oil, artificial flavors and colors, hydrogenated fats, and
imbalanced chicken pies
that should be called pea pies -- Ashley knows that customers want
something more wholesome and natural.
"We have people saying, 'This is like how grandma used to make pies,'"
said Ashley. "We try to be like that, making everything from scratch."
Andres, who has previous retail experience, has been a quick study at
Flaky Crust Pies learning the industry and displaying hard work ethic
to excel in this new opportunity.
"He helps out so much," said Ashley with great admiration in her voice.
"He was born in Colombia and has worked in retail and manufacturing.
This is new to him. He is excited to be involved in us trying to attain together
the American Dream."
Ashley and Andres feel that have ultimately found a home in Norton
business is definitely going well and the locals most welcoming.
"It has been great," said Ashley. "People say to us a lot, 'Welcome to
Norton, we are so glad you are here!' We are glad that we are here,
Flaky Crust Pies is located at 401 Old
Colony Rd., Norton, MA.
Tel. 508-455-0607. Log
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