Cakes are marquee showstoppers and cookies are legion, but pies — they are a mystery. They can be elevated for celebration or lowered to sate hunger after a boozy night out, yet they properly belong at the kitchen table or counter, a social and simply shared repast. In Atlanta, lauded colloquially for its southern hospitality, they are lacking, and a vegan version is rarer still.
Most everyone has a pie memory or story. Serve them a slice and wait, and by the third bite of filling or second chomp of crust, you’ll likely get a tale.
Several years ago I made a birthday pie for my friend, Andy, a southern boy and long-haul cycling adventure partner. That was my first. It was well received but, to me, shabby to look upon. I made another, and then more, providing each office colleague’s birthday with an apple cream pie, a blackberry beauty, a buttermilk custard. Parties and picnics would see me arrive with derby or peach or ruby red raspberry.
A friend hired me to bake her family’s Easter pies. Vegans found me through Instagram and word of mouth, and sought desserts for picnics and dinner parties, or to sate an insistent sweet tooth.
I took the name Tinkertown Pies, a nod to the hardware store in my small college town, Tinkertown Hardware, where every Friday Is Pie Day. You’d enter to worn pine floors and the scent of popcorn, always warm and offered to shoppers; red ACE Hardware-vested employees with calm, patient eyes would say good morning. But you’d be running your eyes over the end cap of bumbleberry, lemon curd, tollhouse, and fruit pies, cookies and brownies and breads. That’s what I wanted to do. That’s what I wanted to give Atlanta.
Tinkertown Pies aims to give you a new pie memory, a story to share some months along about the best pie you had (or at least an Icarian effort toward that status). We serve the basic and ubiquitous — apple, blueberry, pecan; the safety schools of these circular pastry — but drummed or dreamed up others for you: heirloom and antique pies seldom seen outside southern kitchens or northern farmhouse windowsills; desperation pies and succulent custards; fruit pies tangy and sweet and sour. A bunch of cookies and sweet rolls and Thunderbundts, too.
Yes, it’s all vegan. Yes, we make it all ourselves. Yes, we’re glad to serve you. Yes, you’re our favorite customer. And, yes, we most certainly want to hear about your favorite kind of pie and the best pie you ever had.