June 30, 2016 // Franchising.com // Los Angeles, CA - The Pie Hole, the popular Downtown Los Angeles pie and coffee shop opened its first Orange County location last month in the historic Old Towne Orange district. It is also the chain's first franchised location, which comes after opening a second corporate location in Old Town Pasadena and prior to a third site in Hollywood (slated for a late-June opening).
It’s been quite an adventure for Rick and Madeleine Anaya - franchisees of the Orange location - who also plan on opening two more locations in the county.
“We absolutely loved the product - from the savory (my favorites are the Chicken 'n Cornbread Pot Pie and Swiss & Leek Quiche) and sweet (Earl Grey Tea Pie and Salted Caramel Pecan Pie are must-haves) pies; to the artisan coffees (horchata lattes and nitro cold brews). The food was so good, we couldn't possibly be the only fans, and felt the need to share it with our Orange County residents. They were missing out!” says the couple.
And they for sure are not the only fans. The Pie Hole pies are raved about from famous celebrities like JJ Abrams (of Star Trek and Star Wars fame) and magazines (Conde Nast’s “Best Pies In America”); and their Yelp account boasts foodies who travel from all over Southern California to hang out and get their taste buds rocked.
It wasn’t just a consumer-based decision for Rick and Madeleine to get involved. “The business model was brilliant - everybody loves pie and coffee, and it’s a daily purchase that customers make. Not only that - where most restaurants only serve 1-2 day parts, this brand does an amazing breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night, in-between, catering, AND seasonal business” - referring to The Pie Hole’s crazy Thanksgiving pre-orders for the famous pumpkin pie that sells out yearly.
It was also a family decision. Rick says, “I’ve spent countless years running large organizations around the world - I was in the foreign exchange and education world - and while it was fulfilling and I was successful at it, I’m at a stage in my life where I don't want to travel anymore, need to stay local and be near my growing family of kids and grandkids, be part of a community, build a business that my family and I can run together, and make people in my neighborhood happy. And what better way to make someone’s day than a serving a slice of pie?”
He also went on to tout the amazing support of the brand’s founders by saying, “The owners Sean, Matty, and Lindsay are amazing to us, and are very honorable people. They helped us approve the real estate, design the store, manage the marketing, hire/train the staff, bounced ideas and were open to my suggestions, they were tough on us when it came to quality assurance, and coached us up to and through grand opening. They used their love of the brand, care for us, and years of operations experience to help us eliminate mistakes, speed up the learning curve, and position us for success.”
When asked about any advice he’d give to those interested in franchising with The Pie Hole or any business for that matter, Rick says: “This is not a 9 to 5 job - it’s an over-time commitment. As simple as The Pie Hole is, it is not easy; it’s a lot of hard work and there are many challenges that won’t be overcome unless you absolutely love what you’re doing, take care of your people - both customer and employees - and are maniacal about quality. Only then will it be as rewarding as it has been for us.”
Although their store has only been open for a month, their success is helping to fuel more stores in Orange County in the future. They are actively looking at sites from the 1500-2000 square foot range; are dense with residences and office workers who eat out frequently; and are convenient for customers to access.
The Pie Hole was founded in 2011 by partners Sean Brennan, Matthew & Lindsay Heffner and Rebecca Grasley, the matriarch of The Pie Hole. Featuring 5th generation family pie recipes, and an exclusive line of The Pie Hole organic coffees, we are dedicated to delicious, distinctive flavors and premium ingredients. We make made-from-scratch pies of both the sweet and savory varieties, and custom roast our Fair Trade Organic coffees to demanding specifications. The Pie Hole serves multiple dayparts including breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night, along with the ability to accommodate large orders, corporate parties and weddings. BuzzFeed ranks The Pie Hole on their list of “24 Of The Most Delicious Pies In America”, along with Refinery 29 “The 22 best desserts in all of LA” and on Spoon University’s “50 Things You Need To Eat In LA Before You Die”. The Pie Hole has been featured on The Cooking Channel show Unique Eats and Conde Naste Traveler named the Maple Custard Pie to their “Top 12 Best Pies in America”.
SOURCE The Pie Hole