Ugly Pies brings beautiful desserts to Downtown


Don’t let the name The Ugly Pie fool you.

The new bakery at 501 West Main St. across from Brew River has an inviting atmosphere, with little tables, a sofa, flat-screen TV and bookcase lined with interesting titles – the perfect place to settle down with a slice and steaming cup of coffee.

The are jokes about the pumpkin pie that somehow turned out looking frightful and just how unattractive a pie can be and still be acceptable, but the desserts are rich and tasty and the variety impressive.

“There is a limit. They can be a little misshapen or dark. Sometimes the crust is high on one side, but it can’t be anything we wouldn’t eat ourselves,” said co-owner Shaina Bounds, who owns the popular business with friends Bridget Perry and Heather Hall.

On Saturday, Bounds mixed ingredients for an apple butter cream pie while talking with customers who came in to say hello and use wooden forks with a nostalgic feel to polish off a wedge or two.

Pies are made with fresh ingredients and spices, baked on premises and available with vanilla ice cream from Chesapeake Bay Farms in Berlin or coffee from Night Kitchen in Denton.

Business has been lively and regular since the shop opened, between Riverwalk Café and Chesapeake East.

“We started selling pies in November 2014. We had baked out of catering kitchens almost three years, then we moved into this spot in November last year,” Bounds explained.

“The three of us had met at different points and known each other since high school. We went to dinner once and talked about starting something. We were trying to find something that didn’t exist in Salisbury. We wanted something new and something we also enjoy and that wasn’t in the area,” she said.

Pie emerged as a mutual love, but it was only available in grocery stores.

“All our recipes might have 15 ingredients and many of those are spices. We try to use normal ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup. All of the pies are made by hand,” she said.

Hall came up with the name after Bounds, in conversation, commented about baking like a blind grandmother.

“Those would be some ugly pies,” Hall replied, and the name came into focus.

Apple Crumb, Chocolate Pecan Pretzel, called The Monster, and Crème Brulee are among best sellers.

About 40 kinds of pies are on the menu and rotated. This time of year there are Cherry, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, S’mores Chocolate Custard with marshmallows and Loaded Sweet Potato with candied pecans.

In January, Apple Blackberry, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Chess and Sunshine and Spice were offered.

Sunshine and Spice is orange curd baked in a ginger snap cookie crust. Chess pies are made with extra eggs and butter for a custard consistency, Bounds said.

Customers can buy a whole pie, half, slice, quarters or pints, which are 5-inch round pies that each equal about two slices

Prices are $3.75 for a slice, $7 for a pint and $20 to $25 for a whole pie.

“I wanted to bake all my life. The other girls bake at home and they are familiar with the basic steps. Heather had been making pies for her family at holidays for years. I did a crash course on pie crusts,” said Bounds, who sharpened her baking skills at Parkside High School’s vocational school.

Soon, the owners hope to add quiches to the menu.

The Ugly Pie is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and often later on Fridays. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

All three owners manage the shop while maintaining regular jobs. Hall and Perry also have young children.

“We never sleep,” Bounds said, laughing.

“We still have a lot enjoyment in our business. We still eat our own product. We have not gotten tired of it. Our bakery is like a home. It’s cozy,” she said.

“We don’t treat our customers like customers. We ask them their names. We talk to them. When people come in, we want them to feel like they are at home. We want them to really feel at home.”

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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