Pie Snob Traci Wilbur: Locally Made
Behind Traci Wilbur's Arcadia ranch home is a little building. We step through the door into a room with pale lavender walls and shiny industrial ovens surrounded by gleaming subway tile.
A breeze blows in through an open window mingling with the scent of freshly baked pie. Have we died and gone to a kitchen in heaven?
No, we haven't stumbled across the pearly gates, but we have just entered Traci's workspace, an industrial kitchen custom built by her husband and home to her bakery, Pie Snob.
Traci began her career managing orders for a company that sold slot machines. She met her husband while working there and the pair married and went on to have two children. Traci left her job and after a few years as a stay at home Mom, Traci began to think that she might never find her calling.
Hard to help but wonder if her early proximity to the slot machines eventually influenced Traci to take a gamble on the pie business, but Traci swears that it was the close network of friends in her Arcadia neighborhood that really pushed her to take the leap.
For years she made and shared her pies with her pals, who kept telling her that she should sell them. The idea seemed crazy at first, but with her youngest in school last year, Traci finally began to consider it and the concept for Pie Snob took shape.
Traci's mother was the pie baker in the family and Traci grew up eating fresh baked cookies, cakes, and pies. Traci says that experience spoiled her for what she calls the "stale grocery store stuff". She carried the baking tradition on with her own family and believes that any dessert indulgence should be worth it.
All of the Pie Snob recipes are her own, Traci curls up in bed reading cookbooks like novels and says that Cooks Illustrated is one of her favorite resources, because the why is explained with as much detail as the how.
Though she believes that desserts should be delicious and fresh, Traci is no perfectionist. She says that her pies are homemade and they look that way. She doesn't mind when the presentation is just a little off, because it shows that a person's hands were in the process, something that distinguishes her pies from the ones you can pick up from a freezer at your local grocery store.
Traci offers over twenty pies which can be directly ordered from her website or sampled at both Bertha's Café and D'lishous Dishes.
Traci says that life is too short to eat bad pie, and though she's a bit of a snob about the pies themselves, she wants everyone to join her pie eating posse.
Check back tomorrow when Traci shares one of her recipes and shows us how to make a perfect meringue crust.