Ed. Note: The Signal reached out to several local entrepreneurs who live and work in the Santa Clarita Valley, in an effort to share their stories, as well as learn from their challenges and ccomplishments.
Many times in the past year we have been asked the question, “What made you open a pie shop?”
As a small business owner, sometimes the decision to open a business stems from a passion for a service or product you can provide, a strong desire to bring something unique to your community or the appeal to establish something your family can be involved and take pride in.
Sometimes, it’s a little of all of those things.
My husband and I moved our family of four from Utah to California in 2005. My husband, Troy, owned his own martial arts school and I worked in the banking industry.
Immediately after moving to Santa Clarita, Troy began working in the restaurant industry, in various roles, and we started discussing the idea of opening our own business. We would brainstorm ideas here and there and I started to research and learn the requirements, local and state, for different types of businesses. There was a lot to learn about opening a business in California, and being a research and planning person, I began putting thoughts and documentation together.
In the meantime, and completely unrelated at the time, I started the search for a great banana cream pie. Little did we know, this is where it all started, really. Pie was a large part of family life growing up and banana cream pie was always my favorite. One year, I made it known to friends and co-workers that I was on the hunt for the best banana cream pie in the area, or at least reasonably close. That year, people were making suggestions of places to try and bringing me pie to sample. I actually received SEVEN banana cream pies for my birthday that year.
Some of the pies were pretty good, but nothing was exciting enough to stop my search, so I came up with a recipe of my own and started making it. As soon as my family and friends tasted that pie, they said, “This is it. You don’t need to look anymore… just make your own.”
Fast forward a couple years, when Troy and I got more serious about our discussions on opening a business. We had tossed around a few ideas, mostly restaurant/food service related, and I brought up the idea of a pie shop.
I told him, wouldn’t it be great to have a place in our community for people to get a fresh, handmade pie for family gatherings, meetings, and events or just hang out and enjoy a slice and a cup of coffee with friends? He found the idea interesting, and once the idea was out there, we started to run with it.
I put a business plan together, we started to research our concept to see what others might be doing that was similar, we put together ideas for funding the venture, asked people for suggestions and feedback, filed our paperwork for our LLC and DBA, and the rest is history.
Starting and operating a business in California is no joke and not for the faint of heart. But, if you have the drive, take the time to research what you need to know, tap into resources that are available and prepare to work hard it can be done. We have certainly struggled along the way, and continue to struggle, but with our faith, encouragement from friends and the support from the community, we are proud of the risk we took and what we have to show for it today.
Laura Jardine is the co-owner of The Pie Tin, which is located at 26555 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita. For more information, visit ThePieTinSCV.com.