A sweet and savoury shop

The Pie Shack looks to be a ‘happy place’ in the neighbourhood

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in November when Alice McConvey realized a deer-napping was taking place.

“I looked up and all I saw was the back of the deer on this kid’s bike,” she says.

In hot pursuit of the abductor and her fake furry friend, who usually stands guard outside of The Pie Shack, she bolted out of the store shouting, “Give us the deer!”

Fortunately the boy couldn’t shake the tail of a witness in a nearby vehicle, which ultimately forced him to abandon the deer on the side of the road in panic and defeat.

“I walked back and there were people in the playground clapping,” McConvey says. “So the deer is safe and sound.”

The Pie Shack, which was started in the Beaches in 2009 by her brother-in-law Tim McConvey, opened its second location on the corner of Annette Street and Clendenan Avenue in the spot Sunny Bar occupied for over 50 years.

Along with a picture of Sunny’s founder Peter Turchyn and the deer, McConvey says the décor is meant to look like a cottage, which also inspired the name The Pie Shack.

The shop serves up eight sweet seasonal pies and three savoury pies, which are made exclusively for both stores by their baker and can also be ordered to go.

“The savoury pies, we have a traditional chicken with chunks of chicken, peas and corn and it’s very filling … a veggie one that’s spinach and feta cheese and then we have ground angus beef with diced potatoes,” she says, adding they will also be offering mincemeat in time for the holidays.

The sweet options include apple cinnamon, strawberry rhubarb, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, bumble berry and a strawberry and cream pie made with sour cream and a honey mixture. All these options can be paired with vanilla ice cream from Kawartha Dairy Company.

“Our goal here is for people to come in, sit down, have a slice, have a cup of coffee or tea, whatever it is, and just sit there and chat, just have a good time with their friends or just reading a book and they walk away satisfied with a nice homemade pie,” she says. “There’s no wi-fi, we offer games and cards.”

McConvey says that Tim and her husband Shawn spent half a year searching for a property in the west-end because it was where the brothers grew up.

“Nothing popped up and this came up in July and all three of us were like, ‘Oh we have to get this place,’ ” she says. “There’s so much character here and the history of the place so we just fell in love with it, fell in love with the charm.”

McConvey likes how it used to be a kid’s hangout spot and says students from Humberside Collegiate Institute continue to come by during their spares. Since opening on Labour Day weekend, she says they’ve served everyone from families and their young kids to seniors who brought in their parents.

“What I like about it is everybody’s happy like I had a man in here say this is such a happy place,” she says. “We’re serving pie, it’s not rocket science but it’s just everybody’s really friendly and very happy and the neighbourhood’s been really embracing.”


About this article:

By: Ann Ruppenstein
Posted: Nov 28 2011 7:09 pm
Filed in: Business
Edition: Toronto
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