Pies Plus Cafe
We’ve been serving Calgary from the same location in the Avenida Shopping Centre for over 30 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 16 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 14 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 renovating my house currently. 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 a volunteer firefighter with Foothills Fire Department. 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…
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 endeavor 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 days where I learn a lot.
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 favorite parts of what I do, as well as interacting with the other staff.
In my free time I like walking and spending time with the cat, 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!
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 25 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! My name is Madison!
I’m a first year student at the university of Calgary taking a concurrent bachelor of education and bachelor of English. On the off chance that I’m not writing a paper for school, I work at pies plus! I started working here while I was in high school and it’s been such a good job, not only is it close to home but I get to work with a great team in a welcoming environment. Throughout my time at Pies Plus, I’ve learnt a variety of skills that will be useful for the rest of my life. Aside from work and university, I play a sport called Underwater Hockey. For almost a decade I’ve been in and out of the pool practicing with my club team, the Calgary crocs, and my nationals team. As a result of it being a small sport in Canada, it has taken me to tournaments all over the world! I look forward to continuing my travels while I earn my degree over the next chapters of my life.
Hi, my name is Emily!
I graduated amidst the first coronavirus lockdown and decided that I was going to take a gap year instead of immediately attending post secondary. Since then I’ve joined the Pies Plus Crew! I started working here not too long ago and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. Working at Pies Plus has been a great job because I get to learn new skills that will also benefit me outside of the work environment, and I get to be apart of a great team! A few other aspects I like about about work are interacting with customers and making pie shells! When I’m not at Pies Plus, You can usually find me skiing, hiking, painting or hanging out with my best friend. Hopefully next year, If all goes according to plan, I’ll be studying at Bow Valley to get my veterinary technician certificate.
Hey there, my name is Leah and I’m the manager here at Pies Plus. I’ve been working at Pies Plus for 4 years and still love going to work everyday. Since finishing the Baking and Pastry Arts Program at SAIT almost 2 years ago, I’ve been able to spend more time at the pie shop getting to know our amazing customers. As much as I love the kitchen side of the job, what truly makes my job rewarding is the interactions and conversations I get to have with our customers everyday. With that being said, next time you stop in please say hello introduce yourself when you see me!
On a more personal note, outside of work I spend most of my time with my beautiful rescue dog Clover. In addition, I enjoy spending my time camping, going to fish creek, baking at home, playing video games and travelling! Most importantly, I love spending time hanging out with my family and friends.
Hello my name is Maddie, I’m one of Pies Plus’ newest employees. I am sixteen and am currently attending online school. I am part of the Saturday crew and I love working here with the great staff. I have learned so much and love the variety of work that I get to do here. One of my favourite classes at school has been Commercial Foods and Pies Plus has given me the opportunity to practice what I’ve learnt but also teach me new things. I also love to play piano and you can always find me reading a great book!
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…”