Nothing screams America like burgers, corn dogs, barbecue, and of course, pie. Pie is one of America’s symbols of home and tradition, like apple pies, banana cream pies, and pumpkin pies, to name a few. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone crave for pies the way my American friends do. I mean, I really like pies, too, but I still don’t feel what they feel. I guess it’s like the Philippines’ adobo or France’s cheese. When you’re away from home, you crave for comfort food.
Almost a year ago, I was showing around my friends (an American couple) around Cebu City. We stopped by Sugbo Mercado, a weekend food market with dozens of food stalls, highlighting in local dishes but not sparing us the experience of foreign cuisines such as Thai and Vietnamese, among others. As we were walking around, I spotted mini pies. I had to stop to take a second look. I don’t think I’ve ever seen pies so perfectly cooked before; they looked textbook!
We tried everything they had that night: apple crumble, blueberry, and danish pies. We all got really giddy over these desserts and almost bought all of the remaining supplies for the night. Ever since then, I became a regular customer.
A lot of dessert places around tend to make everything overly sweet. pie. makes them just right. Aside from fruit pies, they also have egg tarts! I think they’re one of the best egg tarts I’ve ever had in my life. I remember I almost cried because of how good they were. I was craving for good egg tarts for years and it finally got sated.
Josh of pie. is the man behind these delectable little things. Know more about him below:
Where are you from? Tell us about yourself!
I was born in Germany but I grew up all over the United States, mostly in Florida. My mom is from Pampanga and my dad is from Haiti.
What made you decide to move to the Philippines?
I moved to the Philippines because I wanted to experience something different than the USA. Before I moved to the Philippines I had only visited one time and during that trip I didn’t get to explore outside of my lola’s (grandma’s) barangay.
I felt like there were a lot of opportunities for business in the Philippines so I decided I’d try my hand at owning a business. One of my good friends from college also moved to the Philippines around the same time as me, and I came to visit her in Cebu. I was living in Angeles City in Pampanga at the time.
I liked Cebu and when I looked into the business climate, I read that it was the entrepreneurial center of the Philippines. So, I decided to move to Cebu after my then upcoming graduation from culinary school (July 2015).
Where did you study? Did you ever bake before?
I studied at the International School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM). They actually have a campus in Mabolo (Cebu), but I studied at the Pampanga campus. It was a one year diploma course in Pastries and Bread Making. Before that, the only thing I could bake was cassava cake!
What made you decide to set up shop in Sugbo Mercado?
In 2015, my friends were planning a Sinulog concert for 2016 and they asked me to be a food vendor. I had been talking to them about pies so I said, okay I’ll try it. They hired one of the organizers of Sugbo Mercado to be the liaison for all of the food vendors. She asked me to join Sugbo Mercado and I told her I would if it went well at Sinulog. It didn’t go well at Sinulog but I took her up on the offer anyway!
When I was a kid I actually hated pie! I came around to liking it when I was about 12 years old. So fast forward to 2015, I thought that pie was missing from the dessert market here in Cebu. Cakes are easily found but pies, they’re much harder to come by.
In culinary school I found pie making to be easy and I heard it was difficult. So I thought also that could deter people from directly competing with me. People really struggle with making a delicious crust.
What are your best selling pies?
My best selling pies are the Egg Pie, also called an Egg Tart depending on where you’re from, followed by the Blueberry Pie, and then the Apple Pies. My favorites would have to be the Egg Pie, the Tuna Pie, and the Apple Pie.
What’s next for pie.?
I’ve been exploring a few avenues. I would like to get into supplying and catering. I’m also expanding the menu; I’m transitioning pie. into a bake shop with more menu items aside from our pies.
For orders and more information, visit him over at Sugbo Mercado or drop a message on: Instagram / 0905 477 8787 / 0998 560 0374.