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The Heart and Soul of Pie Bar: Get to know Lauren Bolden

The Heart and Soul of Pie Bar: Get to know Lauren Bolden

If you've ever wandered through Downtown Woodstock or Marietta Square, chances are you've come across the charming Pie Bar, famous for its sweet, delicious pies and other baked goods. As neighbors in Downtown Woodstock, we've gotten to know the owner, Lauren Bolden, and we're excited to announce a limited-edition pie collab coming soon! 👀 ✨ Recently, we had the chance to talk with Lauren and learn what led her to pursue her dream of owning a bakery. Learn about her journey into turning her passion for baking into a full-time business. 🥧

 

Q: How did you get started in baking pies?

Lauren: Pie Bar started as a dream. I was working for the State of Georgia and was not happy with the way things were going. I began thinking more about cooking and baking and spent the majority of my free time in my kitchen at home.

I started baking pies specifically and loved the idea of creating something that people have such a deep connection to, especially in the South. I would bake pies for friends and co-workers in exchange for feedback on how to make the pies even better. I began selling pies at local farmer’s markets, antique shows, breweries, and really anywhere that would allow me to sell pie. 

After a couple of seasons of markets, my husband, Cody, and I opened our first pie shop in Downtown Woodstock in September 2015. Pie Bar has grown since then and now includes our shop in Downtown Woodstock, a shop in the Marietta Square, and our Commissary Kitchen in Kennesaw. 

Q: What fuels your passions?


Lauren: My role inside Pie Bar has shifted since we first started in 2015. With that transition, my focus and passions have changed as well. In the beginning, the majority of my time was spent baking the pies and running our kitchen. I would say at that point in my life, I was fueled by my love of baking and creating something that brought people so much joy. 

A few years ago we sat down with the leaders of our team and began asking them what words come to mind when they think of Pie Bar. We wanted to come up with a set of Core Values for our team and our business that felt true to us as a group. One of the Core Values we landed on was “Community.” 

We recognized the impact we could have if we focused on the community relationships that are so important to us — both inside Pie Bar as well as outside of the shops. Being active members of our local communities is vital for our business because people around us see that we are here to contribute to our neighborhoods, not just sell a product. Our team’s relationship with one another and the guests who come to our shops has empowered our team to take ownership of their roles at Pie Bar because they are interacting with the people who end up with their completed product..the pie! 

Building relationships through our communities has become a large focus of mine over the past several years and allows me to share the passion I have for small business with those inside and outside of Pie Bar.

Q: If you didn't start Pie Bar, what would you be doing?

Lauren: The reason I started Pie Bar comes down to the perfect Venn diagram of not liking my current job, feeling a desire to take on a challenge, and the timely obsession with making the perfect pie. When someone told me they “love the pie!” I thought “well this means I should open a pie shop.” I cannot say exactly what I would be doing if I had not started Pie Bar, but I can imagine it would have been something just as ridiculous. Can you imagine if I had been working to perfect the blueberry muffin? Muffin Bar just doesn’t seem like it would last.

Q: What is your creative process for pie creation?
Some pies are incredibly easy to develop, and others are a real pill. 

Lauren: When our team has an idea to create a new pie, we generally have a set process to see if the pie checks a few boxes: Is it freaking delicious? Can it be made in large quantities? And does it use readily available ingredients (bonus points if the ingredients are Georgia Grown)? 

It is not uncommon for us to update our pie recipes on an annual basis. We work to make sure that each flavor is the best representation of Pie Bar as possible, and sometimes that can take working through and tweaking a recipe more than 10 times until we get the results we are looking for. Other times, it only takes one or two attempts. 

A great example of this is our Key Lime Pie. This is a recipe that started pretty basic in ingredients and technique, but over the years we tweaked the recipe to make it what it is today: a pie that is the perfect combination of tart and sweet in addition to having a fluffy texture that comes from the filling being whipped for a very specific amount of time. 

Q: What makes you weird?

Lauren: When you work with people long enough, you get comfortable with them and one of the things that happens periodically is you’ll “put on their voice” when telling a story about them. It seems when my co-workers impersonate me (out of love, of course..right?!), they make sounds surrounding their actions. Apparently, I add sound effects to my life and didn’t even realize it. If I am rounding a corner I’ll make tire squealing sounds or if something is exciting I’ll squeal. It’s embarrassing and obviously weird, but I can’t stop now. How else would they make fun of me?

Q: What's your favorite coffee drink from Bizarre?


Lauren: It’s a Fall Seasonal fav – The Pecan Pie Chai. As soon as the air turns a bit cooler, I love to grab one from Bizarre in Canton and stroll through Downtown. 🤍

 

If you're local to Canton, GA or Woodstock, be sure to check out our Pie Bar pie collab dropping on June 1st! Make it an adventure and visit the Canton Farmer's Market that day, too. 



 

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