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The Pie Hole: Starting Slow & Steady

Lauren Marinigh | January 26, 2017

Focused on bringing the best sweet and savory pies to Vancouver, the Pie Hole uses fresh, local ingredients to make things from scratch just like grandma used to.

The Pie Hole was started when self-taught hobby baker, Jenell Parsons, realized how much she loved the smiles her baking brought to people’s faces. At the time, there wasn’t any shops in Vancouver that focused solely on pies and it took a few years of attending local markets and pop ups before she was finally committed enough to quit her job and start making pies full-time.

But how did a 36-year-old with a background in art and 3D computer animation end up mastering the pie making process after all? Jenell humbly says she wouldn’t say she has mastered the art of pie making yet but the process is about remembering to always learn and grow. However, having pie making come naturally to her definitely helps the case. She told us that she’s worked on a recipe to perfect her crust, which many people struggle with, and now the crust is one of the signature parts of their pies. “One of the biggest compliments we get from our customers is when they tell us that our pies remind them of their mother or grandmothers pies,” she shared. “To be able to recreate someone’s memories of a loved one is a very special gift to give them.”

A freshly made Piehole apple pie ready to be baked, with cinnamon and apples near by.

Jenell is currently in the process of creating her first shop which is set to open in the spring 2017. She describes her entrepreneurial journey as the slow and safe route as far as starting a business is concerned. “I have learned so much as I have grown this business to what it is today,” she shared. “I couldn’t be more nervous and more excited for the next step.”

Although Jenell has had a slow and steady start to creating the business she dreamed about, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been many challenges in starting up. “I always say it is like being on the craziest rollercoaster,” she explains. “Some days you are on top of the world and others you are wondering why you are doing this.” However, through these ups and downs, Jenell is thankful to live in a city like Vancouver where the support is paramount to the Pie Hole’s success. Despite not having a permanent shop opened up yet, Jenell explained that her customers have gone out of the way to find her pies.

On top of balancing her own business, Jenell also just recently gave birth to her first child, and for the first time in many years, she is finally learning about prioritizing and finding balance between work and life. The Pie Hole was her entire life, and some days she even spent 30+ straight hours in the bakery, and although her business is still a huge priority, remembering the importance of also having a life and making time for family is important to her. “Becoming a partner has been the best thing for me and my business,” she shared. “I have taken my daughter to work since she was four weeks old and she is growing up in the bakery but I have limited hours I spend in the bakery and have learned to depend on our staff.” Learning how to make time for life on top of your business can be one of the biggest learning curves, but also one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business.

The Futurpreneur team can’t wait to see Jenell’s new shop open up later this year! To learn more about where you can get her pies until then, click here.