The first time I drove by High 5 Pies in Seattle, I almost ran my car off the road. Floor to ceiling windows on one side of their pie shop reveal a fun, retro approach to a classic pie diner, including a custom-painted vintage-inspired espresso machine. High 5 Pies is not just a place to get a piece of pie. It’s a place to stop and enjoy. Their nostalgic look and feel made me want to stay all day with a cappuccino, a good book, and maybe a whole pie. I had a chance to ask a few questions of Dani Cone, the mastermind behind this charming pie factory in order to get a better glimpse inside her world of pie. If you’re lucky enough to make a pilgrimage to The Emerald City, then double your luck and stop by High 5 Pie.
Dani, let’s start at the very beginning. Why pie? When did this love affair start?
How do I begin to answer this one? The first pie I ever had was my Grandma Molly’s blackberry pie, made with fresh blackberries that we’d pick by her house. This, to me, was absolute perfection, and I’ve loved pie ever since. Pie is always what I turn to. It celebrates the good times, and it always makes the tough times better.
In a world of cute little bakeries offering perfectly coifed cupcakes, your vintage pie shop offers something different to dessert seekers. What inspired the look and feel of your shop?
Here’s one of the things I love about pie…it is a classic treat. It’s a treat that is so tied to memory and nostalgia, a “feel good” feeling, good times, and people coming together. I guess I wanted the space to be a good complement to that feeling as it is vintage-y yet still current, new, and familiar at the same time. This way, we could introduce our classic pies and also the newer pie “items” and have it all blend well together with the environment. It’s vintage, it’s modern, it’s delicious!
You’ve had a lot of press over the last few years, including an appearance on Martha Stewart and in countless magazines. Was there one factor or one interview that really catapulted your business?
We love what we do. We love pie, and we are completely dedicated to our pies and pie items and making sure that each one is a delicious representation of High 5 Pie. We believe that every pie that is presented to the customer should be good enough to hand to your own grandmother and proudly say, “I made this for you.” You definitely have to put love into pie!
You sell pies in a great variety of flavors and styles, including Piepops! What seems to be the most popular?
As far as items, I’d say the classic 9” pie or slice of pie is the most popular, but our signature Flipsides are a close second! As far as flavors go, that’s tough to say! In the “sweet” category, I’d say Apple and Marionberry or Double Blackberry are the most popular. In the savory category, I think there is a tie between Chicken Pot Pie and our Potato/Dill/Cheddar.
In addition to all of your wonderful desserts, you also offer savory pies. Do people stop by for dinner?
People do come by for dinner! Sometimes they pre-order a 9” savory pie, or they pick up a variety of our savory Flipsides to bring home to the family. They’re also great for the busy person on the go. They are delicious when warmed up. Throw a slice of cheese on top or serve with a good mustard or au jus!
Let’s talk flavors. What’s your favorite?
My favorite??? Oh my gosh, how would I pick!? Here are my top standard faves: apple, double blackberry, and lemon meringue with a huge mountain of meringue. But, I always love the seasonal ones too…like right now our Bluebarb is a fave! And Peach Ginger!
Rumor has it that you’re actually in the pie shop at o’dark-thirty baking pies! True?
Yes, true. I go to the bakery at 4am, 7 days a week. It’s not as bad as it may sound. It’s kind of a nice time of day (night?) as everything is quiet, clean, and you start the day without any interruption (because no one else is up).
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