Local Grub: Smitten For the Love of Pie

The north state boasts a bounty of local farmers and food producers. ANewsCafe.com would like to celebrate them in “Local Grub,” a new series by reporter Adam Mankoski. Adam profiles some of our neighbors who rise with the sun (sometimes before) to bring us healthy, seasonal, locally grown food.

I spend most Saturday mornings salivating … at the farmer’s market. As I wander past stalls of fresh food, my mind conjures what I’ll whip up with free-range eggs, tender micro-greens, candy-sweet carrots and bread straight from the oven. But before we talk frittatas, salads or bruschetta, let’s first talk dessert.

Adrienne and Kirsten Sherman goof off behind a For the Love of Pie carrot cake – a 100-year-old family recipe.

Clarification: let’s talk pies. Seventeen varieties, handmade by Adrienne Sherman and her family-operated bakery, “For the Love of Pie.” Now, let your mouth water for just a minute as I describe the pie Adrienne sent home with me (for research purposes, of course): one of her favorites – a hot-from-the-oven strawberry rhubarb.

As I’ve admitted before when reporting on local eats, I’m not a food critic. I’ll leave that up to aNewsCafe.com’s Femme de Joie. But based on the muffin top above my waistband, I like desserts. This dessert was no exception. The sweet-tart combination of fruit cradled by a textbook flaky crust made me a For the Love of Pie devotee.

Fresh peach and apple pies waiting for a loving home

For the Love of Pie began 11 years ago as a creative way to raise funds for Adrienne’s daughters, Kirsten and Ashlee, both active in sports at Bella Vista School. After years of successful fundraising, Adrienne realized how hot the demand is for her pies. Last summer, the Shermans busted the seams of their home-based culinary enterprise. She moved production into a Redding commercial kitchen, morphing For the Love of Pie into a seven-employee, 1,000-pies-a-month operation.

One year, two brick-and-mortar locations (one with a drive-thru) and a farmers’ market tent later, and the Shermans are having trouble keeping up with demand. “It’s a really great problem,” says Adrienne, thinking out loud about her growing business and the time she needs to train new staff to create her signature “perfect crust.”

Adrienne whipping up my fresh strawberry-rhubarb pie

She will probably leave some of that up to Kirsten and Ashlee, who are both elbow-deep in dough every day. For the Love of Pie is a family affair and Adrienne is proud that her daughters are learning hands-on to be entrepreneurs. You’ll even catch a glimpse of Adrienne’s husband Rick on his way to and from the market with fresh pies, and Rick’s grandfather Gaylord hanging out under the farmers’ market tent on a Saturday morning.

They’re keeping it in the family and they’re keeping it local. Adrienne buys as much as she can seasonally, from north state producers, including fresh peaches and apples. Her walnuts come from Cottonwood and, this year, her neighbor with two acres to spare will grow zucchini for bread, plus rhubarb and strawberries.

A fat stack of Adrienne's signature "perfect crusts"

Let’s salivate, just one more time … oooh, thinking about 17 varieties of pies, including silky chocolate, banana and coconut cream, berry, apple, peach and key lime. Adrienne’s sugar-free varieties are so popular that they “usually go out of here hot,” she says. For the Love of Pie’s menu also includes fresh-baked bread, scones, muffins, cookies, brownies and cheesecake, plus homemade tamales and salsa — for something savory before the sweet.

You’d think the variety would be enough to please everyone. But recognizing that they were missing a niche, Adrienne joined forces with Vicki Vukobradovich and her sister Denise. Vicki and Denise’s Sorelle Bakery makes sure that gluten-sensitive guests have something to savor while the rest of us are busy wolfing down Adrienne’s gluten-rich goodness. Sorelle’s gluten-free breads, muffins, cakes, brownies and cookies are available everywhere you find For the Love of Pie creations.

Denise and Vicki with some of Sorelle Bakery's gluten-free creations

You can have For the Love of Pie three ways: on the go from the drive-thru in north Redding, leisurely with a cup of coffee in the café on Redding’s east side, or with your green beans and radishes on a Saturday morning farmer’s market run beside Redding’s City Hall. Any way you choose it, you’ll get the same local ingredients, hand-crafted and nestled in the “perfect crust” carefully created by Adrienne and her family.

Find For the Love of Pie in Redding, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 351 Northpoint Drive, Suite A, or 2931 Churn Creek Road. Better yet, pick a pie up Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon at the Redding Farmers’ Market, 777 Cypress Avenue, in the City Hall parking lot. For special orders and fundraising opportunities, call (530) 246-PIES.

View Redding For the Love of Pie locations in a larger map.

Adam Mankoski enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State weekend events to adamm.anewscafe@gmail.com.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

Adam Mankoski

is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner are the owners of HawkMan Studios and the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday Art Hop.

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