Photo courtesy of Cravin' Pie

Baking Their Way to Success

Prize-winning startup Cravin’ Pie creates new flavors while honoring the classics

By Anne Kopas

Krista Craven and Christina Rogan found a direct path to the hearts (and stomachs) of thousands: old-fashioned homemade pie. From classics like Apple Crumb to innovations like Brownie Batter or Coconut Macaroon, the two-woman team of Cravin’ Pie is showing Minnesotans that pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving.

Craven and Rogan got their start in 2012, when Craven’s husband saw an ad for the National Food Tour’s pie-making competition, the Twin Cities Pie Experiment. The team placed first with its signature Mexican Chocolate Pie, and was sent to the national competition in Brooklyn, New York, where the locals placed third out of seventeen teams.

In Brooklyn, the team had the chance to tour the Pfizer building, which houses local food startups. This sparked an idea for Craven: “If people can start a business in New York City,” she says, “surely we can do it in the Twin Cities.” From there, the business, which bakes and sells individual-serving artisan pies, expanded into a seasonal venture at Thanksgiving.

But Craven and Rogan wanted to go bigger. As they learned more about their customers and grew their business, they expanded to partner with J. Arthur’s Coffee, where customers could pick up their online orders. They are also working on a partnership with We Are Always Moving Industries to sell their pies in handmade wooden boxes to give as gifts.