The Startup Spotlight™ platform features innovative, consumer-based startup companies and their passionate founders.
Startup Spotlight™ shines on Mamie’s Pies. Founded in the Bay Area of Northern California, Mamie’s Pies is a startup company that has re-imagined the traditional dessert by creating a convenient, single-serve “pocket-pie” using generational family recipes from back in New England.
How did Mamie’s Pies get started and where does the name come from?Pie making has always been a tradition in our family. Recipes were passed down from my great grandmother, to my nana and then to my mum, Mamie.
When my daughter’s high school winter formal was almost cancelled due to lack of funding, I made my family’s 9” apple pies for the class to sell. The fundraiser was a huge success and I found myself taking orders from the local grocery stores — Mamie’s Pies was in business! When customers started asking for a smaller version of my pies to enjoy anytime of the year, I quickly realized I needed to take this seasonal business and turn it into year-round happiness…enter the creation of Mamie’s single serving, hand-held pocket pies!
What is a “pocket pie?”
Shaped like apples, blueberries and pumpkins, Mamie’s pocket pies are the perfect size to enjoy anytime! With their unique shapes and absolutely delicious homemade taste, it didn’t take long for Mamie’s pocket pies to be chosen as Oprah’s Favorite and touted as the most innovative product in the frozen dessert category!
Using simple all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, Mamie’s pocket pies are flash frozen, unbaked and go freezer to oven, air fry or deep fry. Mamie’s 4 ingredient fruit fillings include the sweet and tart McIntosh apple, Wild Maine blueberry, tart Michigan Cherry, sweet strawberry, perfect peach and New England pumpkin with molasses and brown sugar. Each pocket pie is surrounded by Mamie’s signature 4 ingredient flaky crust that complements our fruit forward fillings. Then we individually package each pocket pie so you can bake one for yourself or feed your whole family!
How did you come up with the “pocket pie” concept?
Mamie’s crucial inflection point was when loyal customers of our 9-inch pies started asking for something they could enjoy anytime of the year. “We love your pies and they were absolutely delicious, but it’s just me and my husband at home. Can you make something smaller?”
As more and more customers requested a smaller size, Kara realized she could take this seasonal product and turn it into a year-round business with Mamie’s single serving, hand-held pocket pies!
Who are some of the key Mamie’s Pies team members & backgrounds?
Founder & CEO, Kara Romanik — After many years in the finance industry, Kara has turned Mamie’s Pies from a passion project into a large-scale operation. Now, she’s sold over one million pocket pies nationwide and has made Oprah’s Favorite list.
General Counsel and COO — Peter Scherr
After building a successful law practice over two decades, Peter decided that serving people pie could be more compelling than solving legal problems. Peter now works with Kara to make sure the pies are made, shipped, and get to the tables of Mamie’s customers.
Creative Lead — Kiki Romanik
Kiki is the creative lead for Mamie’s Pies. She has been working alongside Kara since Mamie’s Pies was born and is now responsible for marketing strategy and building the Mamie’s Pies brand.
Who is your primary target market and how do you best reach them?
Our primary target are pie lovers and everyone else! We reach out to our varied demographics through social media and targeted ads on Instagram and Facebook. All our ads drive customers to our website and we continue to engage with our customers through a monthly newsletter.
Appearing on QVC over 45 times over the past 2 years, has clearly helped to launch the Mamie’s brand awareness.
Now that we’ve launched into grocery stores, we’ve gotten very creative to drive customers to that freezer dessert door. We co-promote with ice cream brands with a Pies and Pints promo, 4th of July brings red and white and blue: apple, cherry and blueberry promotions, and of course, the Back-To School bring your teacher an apple pocket pie.
Where can consumers buy Mamie’s Pies today?
Consumers can find Mamie’s pies in many places! Visit our website at www.mamiespies.com to find all flavors and promotional packs. Some of our ecommerce partners are Zulily, Stonewall Kitchen, Amazon, and Macy’s.
We launched into retail grocery in the 4th quarter of 2019 and Mamie’s pocket pies are currently in over 800 grocery stores nationwide with partners like H-E-B, Meijer, Albertsons/Safeway. Another 3,000 stores are projected for 2020.
Also, Mamie’s Pies are often featured on QVC, both on-air and online. Kara has appeared on the network selling pies nearly 50 times already.
How are Mamie’s Pies sales trending?
Since landing on Oprah’s ‘O List’ in August of 2017, our business has taken off. Our revenue increased from $80K in 2017 to $1.1M in 2019, and we hope to have our biggest year to date in 2020.
Any new, innovative products coming soon from Mamie’s Pies?
We would love to expand our lines of hand-held pocket pies into savory dinner pockets and even breakfast pockets. Stay tuned!
Are you currently raising capital?
Currently, we’re raising capital through an equity crowd fund campaign with StartEngine. The funds will be used for Marketing to continue to build brand awareness and drive growth in our ecommerce platforms, continued expansion into retail grocery, and entry into the food service sector. We’d also like to build inventory to have approximately 1-month supply of inventory on hand. Finally, capital will be used to hire key operations positions.
What’s one thing people should remember about Mamie’s Pies?
We didn’t invent pie, we reimagined it! You can enjoy Mamie’s pocket pies any time of the year!