A fantastic new pie shop called JudyPie is set to open in downtown Grapevine this fall from an ex-schoolteacher who's armed with her grandmother's recipes.
Owner Judy Balunda decided to do a pie shop after teaching special education in middle school for 18 years.
"Some friends who owned a bakery asked if I wanted to come bake pies," she says. "I made pies for two months. I sold them for $35, and people didn't blink an eye. I got the pie bug. I thought, 'I could do this.'"
She sharpened her skills at Le Cordon Bleu and, perhaps most important, found a cute location at 520 S. Main St. in Grapevine, in a former embroidery shop, where they built an entire kitchen.
"We're by the farmers market and Jakes Hamburgers. I think we're in a good spot," she says.
At JudyPie, all of the baked goods are made from scratch, in small batches, every day. She does an unusual crust based on a shortbread recipe that guarantees a crisp base. There'll be at least a dozen pies daily, in both sweet and savory options such as chicken pot pie, plus rotating specials including seasonal favorites. Regular varieties include lemon meringue, Mississippi mud pie, apple, chocolate cream, and banana pudding pie.
Her pies come in three sizes: bite size for $2, personal size for $5, and whole pies for $25-$35.
There'll be fresh fruit with whipped cream in multiple flavors, and kosher-style sweets such as the famous black and white cookie covered with white and chocolate fondant. They'll do kugel, and challah bread on Fridays as well as home-style Greek pastries. And all of their paper products will use recycled boxes and bags — "because it is the right thing to do," she says.
She says there'll be about 18 seats if you want to eat a slice onsite, and the decorative theme will be vintage.
"After I retired, I had an Etsy shop. But I was in my house, and I like to visit with people," she says. "With JudyPie, I will have a life I haven't had."