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Sister Pie A pastry for all seasons

Sister Pie

8066 Kerchval St., Detroit, MI
  • Neighborhood: Rivertown & Southeast
  • Price Level:   
  • Open for: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Vegetarian Options
  • Cards Accepted
  • Free Parking Available

Tags: eat, bakery, West Village, pop-ups, sister-pie, pie

Something magical is happening in Detroit’s West Village. On the corner of Kercheval and Parker, a formerly vacant storefront is bursting with so much life that the energy spills out onto the street. You can feel it humming even before you step foot inside the Sister Pie bakery.

Transforming an unoccupied building into a productive business isn’t terribly earth-shattering itself. It’s the way they’ve done it, all the little details coming together in exactly the right way, at the right time, in the right place. Sister Pie (SP) has a comfortable charm that feels like a neighborhood shop, but the food they’re baking inside is anything but ordinary.

This former popup opened a brick and mortar bakery on Friday in Detroit’s West Village, just a seven minute ride from downtown. The SP shop is adorable, and brimming with vivacity. An open kitchen layout lets you watch all the baking and pie making in action, and adds to the upbeat energy this place exudes. The kitchen actually takes up most of the space, with just a few tables in the dining area, accented by vases of fresh flowers. Surrounding the shop’s entrance are tiny little pots of violets – the ones that grew wild in your backyard as a kid.

The glass cases at the counter tempt you with rows of delectable-looking pies and heaps of cookies, muffins and other baked goods. From here you can watch the pie dough being made and catch a glimpse of some of the absolutely gorgeous raw ingredients these ladies are working with – big buckets of rhubarb in ombre shades of pink and red, tender, bright orange carrots, and more.

Order a slice of pie, a mug of coffee, and stay awhile. Sister Pie serves Populace coffee and Kilogram teas. The mugs in Sister Pie’s “pie-brary” are all different, collected from friends, family and neighbors who’ve donated their gently used drinkware. The eclectic collection adds to the welcoming, comfortable atmosphere. (Got an extra mug lying around at home? Bring it over!)

Despite the name, it’s not all about pie here, and it’s not all about sweets, either. One of our favorite SP treats is the hand pie. Savory and portable, these babies are craveable little pockets of delish with a crust so flaky and buttery you’ll be licking the crumbs off your plate. The flavors change often, but over the weekend they had a tasty carrot, radish, feta and dill hand pie.

They also serve potato galettes with sunny side up eggs and a scallion-herb pesto. We think they’re the new breakfast burrito.

Then, there are the cookies. SP’s buckwheat chocolate chip cookies are a unique taste and texture experience that you really need to try. The shortbread cookies which were previously only available by the dozen around the holidays are now for sale individually ($0.50-0.75 each). We happen to love the lavender shortbread, a crisp, buttery little confection with flecks of pretty purple-pink lavender in the cookie, and a sweet powdered sugar icing. It does have a pretty assertive floral taste, which we enjoy, but if that’s not your thing go for one of the other flavors. Or maybe a mint and lime cookie.

Depending on the day you visit, you might also find sweet potato streusel muffins, scones made with roasted beets, cheddar and scallions, or other bites on the menu.

We came here for pie, so let’s get down to it. SP’s flavors change every month, with ingredients that celebrate the season. We’re in love with their honey lemon meringue pie. It has a luscious, custard-y lemon filling, a thick, chewy, flaky crust, and a foamy, light-as-air meringue topping.

Also on the pie bill of fare this spring are a decadent chocolate coconut, tart rhubarb walnut crumble, and Sister Pie’s signature salted maple – a must try (it tastes like pancakes!).

Sister Pie is a labor of love for Metro Detroit native Lisa Ludwinski. Lisa worked at two nationally renowned NYC bakeries, Four & Twenty Blackbirds and David Chang’s Momofuku Milk Bar. While living in Brooklyn, she started a video blog about cooking and baking called Funny Side Up. While working at Milk Bar, she received a scholarship to study breadmaking at Zingerman’s Bakehouse and Avalon International Breads. In September 2012, Lisa moved back to Michigan and Sister Pie was born.

The pie operations started out of the home of Lisa’s parents, then moved to the kitchen at Hannan House cafe. The delicious results were first available through popup events, farmers markets, and eventually retail spots like Parker Street Market (now across the street from the pie bakery). Anji Reynolds joined the pie team in November 2013.

The team gained an enthusiastic following on social media with their Dance Break videos. And, you know, for making some kickass baked goods.

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