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Atlanta’s princess of pie: Mims Bledsoe of Pie Shop

Mims Bledsoe, owner of Pie Shop

Mims Bledsoe, owner of Pie Shop

“I want people to get something nostalgic. Something real. If it slows people down or makes them go into a different state for just a minute, that’s enough for me.”

Meet Mims, Atlanta’s princess of pie. Only two months after opening Pie Shop in Buckhead, it seems this pie maven has already won the hearts — and tastebuds — of Atlanta. Pie Shop was just crowned “Best Pie in Atlanta” over on Best of the Big A. Both the voters and I picked Pie Shop as our favorite local pie spot.

Mims has pie in her blood. Although her mom “didn’t cook at all,” her grandmothers did. In fact, her great-great grandmother owned a fried-pie shop in rural Cumming at the turn of the century. While none of those original fried-pie recipes survived in written form, they have always been a part of the family’s holidays. Every Christmas, Mims’s grandmother, now 92, brings the fried pies. Mims uses the same dough for Pie Shop’s fried pies.

But Mims didn’t originally intend to create Atlanta’s pie destination. Instead, she attended graduate school to study Philosophy, hoping to spend her career as an academic. On the side, she was a researcher for writers, professors and litigators. That was until she decided she wanted to do something with her hands. “I wanted a skill to call my own,” she says.

So, she started baking pies. She sought inspiration from old cookbooks and forgotten recipes. She used her research skills to develop the perfect all-butter pie crust through a lengthy process of trial and error. “Working the dough is my favorite part,” she admits, “It is metaphorical for life: be firm but don’t overwork it.”

Armed with the perfect crust recipe, she decided to pursue pie baking full-time and rented commercial kitchen space in Decatur. She cooked there for about six months, experiencing a surge in business during the holidays. This success encouraged her to look for her own commercial space last spring. And within two months, Pie Shop was born.

With the opening of the shop, Mims hired her close friend and pastry chef, Kim Keene, formerly of Alon’s, to work with her to develop recipes and bake pies. According to Pie Shop’s website, “Kim jumped on board just as soon as Mims had sold enough pies to afford her.” The two work hand-in-hand to create a new menu of sweet, savory and fried pies each week.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the fruit pies at Pie Shop is the light touch with the sugar. Mims believes that the fruit should be the featured ingredient and shouldn’t be overwhelmed by sugar. In addition to these fruit pies, you’ll find playful flavors such as watermelon chiffon, apple bacon and cherry chili.

I asked Mims what Pie Shop Utopia looked like. After a moment’s consideration, she reponds, “My goal was to start a little shop where I could meet people and have regulars; a place where I could play in the kitchen. It’s tempting to fantasize where it could go.” Although Mims has no immediate plans to do so, she confesses it would be exciting to open a second location in either Virginia Highland or Midtown. For now, she says, “It’s been a whirlwind. I just feel fortunate that people have found us so soon.”

And find her you should.

Pie Shop: 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.- 1 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays. 3210-E Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-841-4512, www.the-pie-shop.com. $.

Jenny Turknett, Southern and Neighborhood Fare

Jenny Turknett, Southern and Neighborhood Fare

–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog

– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team.

18 comments Add your comment

Elliot Garcia

August 16th, 2011
5:10 am

Love this place!

Laura W

August 16th, 2011
8:53 am

Try the mocha pie at Pie Shop… yum!

M. Johnson

August 16th, 2011
9:45 am

Mmmmmmm! Thanks for introducing a new addition to the area. Can’t wait to try them out.

MJ

August 16th, 2011
11:01 am

Pie Shop sounds yummy! I will definitely go this weekend :)

Anne-Caroline Taylor

August 16th, 2011
11:50 am

Dear Mims,

Please resurrect the chocolate chess pie thatthe old Rich’c Bake Shop used to make. I have the recipe and will gladly share with you if you like.

Anne-Caroline

Mar -Atl Foodie

August 16th, 2011
1:21 pm

I liked most of the pies, but the fig turnover was skimpy and the savory pies could use a large flavor boost. She and her sister do want to please. If you eat in, the coffee needs a boost also. Maybe it was just too new when I went.

John L.

August 16th, 2011
2:19 pm

Incredible pies, served with hometown charm! And the weekly updates to the menu allow for something new each visit!

Jenny Turknett

August 16th, 2011
3:33 pm

Mar-Atl Foodie – coffee improvement plans are in the works, I hear. I haven’t tried the savory pies yet. I believe we’re doing a Best of the Big A for savory pies sometime later this year, so we’ll see who has the best in that category!

Kat

August 16th, 2011
10:13 pm

I am not a fan of pie, in general, but I do admire someone who takes her dream and makes it real. So, I am hoping for the absolute best for her and her company. Good luck!

Grasshopper

August 16th, 2011
10:57 pm

They sound good. So how much are they? Say the Coconut cream.

A ‘Best of the Big A’ savory pie poll? Who else sells them?

Chris

August 16th, 2011
11:59 pm

The coconut cream pie at Gabriel’s (Paula Deen’s cousin) in Marietta is the best dessert I’ve ever had, period – and I’m usually a chocolate dessert person. I recommend putting then head to head and see who really has the best pie. Nothing makes stuff better than a little competition!

Zeus

August 17th, 2011
7:52 am

Apparently no one here has been OTP and tried The Pie Hole in Roswell. It was featured on The Cooking Channel’s pie episode. Best pie I’ve ever had, bar none. Her chocolate chess rocks my world.

Pie Shop «

August 17th, 2011
8:27 am

[...] this shop was featured in the AJC, and it sounds really cute. I wish I could visit. Check out the article. You can see the shop website [...]

Niklas

August 17th, 2011
8:40 am

Congrats to Mims! She worked at Muss & Turner’s prior to her pie shop adventures.

Bobbie Langston

August 17th, 2011
12:34 pm

If you haven’t tried it, the Key Lime Pie is out of this world!!!! My favorite. Of course I want to try the Sweet Potato Cobbler when you have it.

Jenny Turknett

August 17th, 2011
1:37 pm

Grasshopper, whole pies are generally $30-35. The coconut cream is $32 for a whole pie and $4.60 per slice. I also just heard from Mims that they will start brewing Batdorf & Bronson coffee next week.

Catherine

August 20th, 2011
12:16 am

The mojito tarts are a unique treat. I, too, would love to see the Rich’s Chocolate Chess “Mimsified” in addition to the ever-exciting weekly offerings. The family atmosphere offered by this batch of lifelong friends only adds to the downhome charm of this nostalgic addition to Buckhead.

Bob

August 21st, 2011
9:16 pm

I stopped in pie shop to check it out and was shocked to see how expensive this place is. $34 for a pie!? I went around the corner to Henri’s and bought a great pie for $14.