Pies Plus Cafe
We’ve been serving Calgary from the same location in the Avenida Shopping Centre for over 20 years. Pies Plus Cafe is a family owned business that has been passed on at least once to a new generation of pie makers. Pies Plus Cafe’s claim to fame is its 70 year old double pizza oven and 100 year old commercial pastry mixer. As owner Patrick puts it, “they don’t make ’em like they used too”, and the age of both of these machines is a testament to that statement.
Hello! My name is Patrick and I am one of the proud owners of Pies Plus Cafe. My wife Candace is my partner in life and in business. Its been almost two years of us working together and things are going great. I grew up with the business as it was my dad, Jeff, who started it back in 1987 in Bragg Creek. He then opened a second location in Calgary in 1989 (currently the only one). From the time I was crawling I was surrounded by this business and part of that made me not want to take it over when Mom and Dad started talking of selling. It was just something that I was not interested in. One day that changed and I took a run at being a business owner when I was 19 years old. I figured you have to jump in sometime, why not now? Fortunately for me, my wife and I have been together for almost 15 years and she has stuck out my extreme learning curve of being a new business owner at such a young age. I have owned and operated Pies Plus for nearly 11 years now.
Once I started getting the hang of being my own boss, I learned that I have more bosses than anyone! All of you, our customers are my boss, because if I don’t meet your expectations you will not return and that is the last thing we want. I strive to keep my expectations of myself and of my staff at the very high level that has been associated with Pies Plus for almost a quarter century. That being said, there’s always room to have lots of fun at work and I very much enjoy doing what I do and doing it with the amazing people I work with, many of which end up becoming personal friends even after they cease to be employees.
On a more personal note, I hold a private pilots licence and from time to time terrorize the skies south of Calgary when the weather is nice. I also enjoy SCUBA diving when I can and working on rebuilding my antique 1953 Oliver tractor. I enjoy exercising and riding my mountain bike in the mountains and going for hikes in the back country in summer. In winter, I try and downhill ski whenever I get the chance and like playing pick-up hockey in Priddis with the boys. I also volunteer with Calgary Search and Rescue Association and I am on call 24/7 with that group. I enjoy the people and training that is provided and the fact that I am able to help people when they really need it. I am a firm believer that you get out of something what you put in, so I try to give anything I do my all because you never know if you’ll have a second chance.
So don’t be afraid to stop and say Hi next time you see me wandering the floor of the restaurant, I love meeting each and every person who comes in and hearing their unique perspective of life. Something about coffee shops and bars…
Hi there! I’m Arlene and I am roughly stumbling my way through the early years of university. Currently, I’m a student at the University of Calgary working towards a BFA in Visual Studies. I love painting and photography! I also love sunflowers, sneakers, road-trips, ramen, musicals, making memories, and a good ol’ slice of warm apple pie (with ice cream, of course)! Working at Pies Plus has painted my life in a myriad of colours. My coworkers are a family that I never knew I needed, but I’m very glad to have. Getting to meet and talk to both new and regular customers on a daily basis is my favourite part of the job, so please come in and say hello!
Hello, my name is Candace and I am the other of the two owners of Pies Plus. After many years working in the service and retail industry, I decided it was time to join my husband in the endeavour of business ownership. And, so far it’s been a blast! Working with him almost every day has its challenges and then there is the overall learning curve of what it is exactly that an owner does. After a few years of working as and owner the learning curve isn’t quite as steep but there is still a fair bit to learn.
My work career started out in the restaurant industry when I was 15. After a couple more restaurants, I moved over to retail at Canadian Tire, then briefly to Wholesale Sports, and the back to Canadian Tire where I remained working for 7 years. After deciding that was long enough, circumstance lead me to discuss buying in as a partner in Pies Plus. I have always loved being in the kitchen and baking especially. Quite often I will make things at home just because I like to. Interacting with customers is one of my favourite parts of what I do, as well as interacting with the other staff.
In my free time, I like riding my bike to and from work, as well as spending time with my family. I enjoy travelling with my sister to various places. (Hoover Dam is in my picture). So any time you stop on in at the Pie shop, feel free to say hi and see how my new lifestyle is going. I look forward to seeing you there!
Hi there! My name is Clare and I’m eighteen. I have been working at Pies Plus for close to a year now. During this past year at Pies Plus I have made incredible friends, learnt a variety of important skills and most importantly made tons of pumpkin pie. When I am not working I run and bike in Fish and Creek with my family and hike with friends. In the fall I will start at SAIT doing photojournalism and continue to work at Pies Plus, meeting all the amazing people who come into the shop everyday!
My relationship with Pies Plus Cafe started when I met Jeff, June and Patrick at ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ nursery school where Patrick was one of my students. A few years later I happened to come to Pies Plus with a friend to have coffee. Jeff mentioned that he needed someone to work full time for him. I decided to put my name in and its been 23 years since that day. In case it wasn’t clear, I love what I do or else I wouldn’t have been here for almost two decades! I enjoy interacting with our customers, repeat and new alike. Until I started working here, I never knew how to make pies or pastry at all!
On a personal side I like riding horses and have been doing so for many years. I like summer and being outside, and I like spending time at the drag race track. I am also a proud Grandma of 5 grandchildren so that keeps me going! I have lots to keep me busy but I’m never too busy to say Hi when you come in!
Hi there my name is Emily and I have been working at Pies Plus for some time now! I am currently studying political science at the University of Calgary. So if I’m not at Pies Plus I’m either at school or playing sports. I play Ringette and soccer in my free time and love every minute of it. I do lots of different jobs at Pies Plus, but one of my favourites is helping our amazing customers! I love to chat and get to know our customers so if you see me around please come up and introduce yourself!
Hey, my name is Leah and I’m just about to start my second year of the Baking and Pastry Arts program at SAIT. I’ve now been working at Pies Plus for just over a year and I can honestly say I still love my job. I enjoy interacting with the customer as well as developing my friendships with my co-workers. In the past year working at Pies Plus I have been able to learn so much about the industry as well develop my skills ing the kitchen which has helped to prepare me for my career in the baking industry once I graduate from SAIT. Outside of school and work I enjoy camping, travelling and spending lots of time with my family and friends.
Hello! My name is Nicole and I am 16 years old and just finishing grade 10 at Bishop Carroll High School. Working at Pies Plus is my first job and I have loved every part of it! I love spending time in the kitchen and learning new things everyday. The staff are all great to work with, they are all very friendly and kind. Outside of work I enjoy swimming, spending time at the gym and hanging out with my friends and family.
Excerpt from a food review on Pies Plus:
“…Pies Plus on the other hand is slightly more expensive at around $19 per pie. This may seem quite high, but let me assure you, you are getting every pennies worth out of these pies. Pies Plus has to use specially made pie plates that are stronger than normal because their pies are so full of filling that they would buckle a normal pie plate under the weight of the fillings. They have to charge a $1.50 deposit on these plates because of the cost of making them, I don’t imagine many get returned because you can’t buy pie plates of this quality in the store for that price.
Pies Plus uses only fresh fruit, and fresh pumpkins in season, and it is not uncommon to see a crate full of apples show up to be hand peeled and cut. During thanksgiving Pies Plus orders more than 2200 pounds of fresh pumpkins that will be hand carved and cleaned, just to fill the thousands of pie orders that come in.
Pies Plus has over 100 pies available, and their apple pie, which is the only pie that maintains its pre-oven shape, stands more than five inches high. Patrick says that all of the pies start out that big, but all of the others cook down to look like normal pies. Interestingly enough, I went to several other bakeries to check out their pies and Patrick’s were the only ones I could find that had a top shaped like a dome instead of flat or convex like a bowl…”