Over the past couple of years Mountlake Terrace’s West Plaza shopping center has seen numerous changes: the expansion of Double DD Meats, the addition of the Diamond Knot Brewpub @ MLT, the closure of Prime Pizza and its space being taken over by Romio’s Pizza and Pasta Express. Now another tasty change is coming to the Town Center District site.
The Snohomish Pie Company will begin selling their selection of handmade pies, cookies, bread and cinnamon rolls in the plaza this December in space vacated earlier this year by Queen’s Cleaners.
“We are working hard right now on plans, permits and the build out,” said company owner Jenny Brien. “We were shooting for an open before Thanksgiving, but realized quickly construction is kind of like pie — you can’t rush it.”
The Snohomish Pie Company has been a fixture in downtown Snohomish for 18 years and has received accolades from Tripadvisor.com and KING 5 TV’s Best of Western Washington. In addition to selling pies whole and by the slice, the bakery company sells a selection of cookies (chocolate chip, s’mores, the “Ultimate”), sandwiches, soups and cinnamon rolls each weekend.
For Brien, what started out as simple lessons in the kitchen has turned into a business – and a passion. “I grew up in Snohomish with my family and learned to make pies from a family friend,” she said. “We love sharing our love for pie with people. I love to think about the families that share our pie over the holidays or the laughter sharing a slice of pie with someone brings. It may sound strange to most, but it’s more than just pie for me.”
While opening a second location of her business wasn’t necessarily a high priority for Brien, she was convinced to take the plunge after discussions with Kirk Ishizaki, one of the owners of the West Plaza shopping center, and seeing for herself the potential of coming to the area.
“I’m not so sure it was us choosing Mountlake Terrace as much as Mountlake Terrace choosing us,” she said. “We were approached by Kirk back in April about coming to his building. I was unsure at the time of even expanding, but after his persistence — and him dropping off a gift card to Diamond Knot — we went ahead and made our way to Mountlake Terrace.”
“I sat in my car, watching the droves of people coming and going from Double DD Meats and Diamond Knot and thought it was a great concept: A shopping plaza to buy your meat, your beer and a whole pie for your BBQ. I was sold in that moment.”
Brien hopes the new location will be open by Christmas, but also has plans to make her products available in Mountlake Terrace earlier by opening a “pop up shop” before Thanksgiving. “You can order your pie through our Snohomish location and we will deliver to Mountlake Terrace for pick up in front of our future shop,” she said.
To handle the expansion Brien plans on adding four to five additional staff members to the six she currently has in Snohomish. “They will begin their training at our Snohomish location so that they’ll be ready for the Mountlake Terrace location,” she said.
While running a small business is demanding enough, Brien noted that making time for charitable efforts is important to her also. “Snohomish Pie Company loves giving back to the communities,” she said. “During the Oso slide, my manager and I pulled together and baked 200 mini-pies and 200 chocolate chip cookies to send up to the rescue teams.”
Brien’s efforts last spring soon became a “Slice 4 Slice” matching campaign where every slice of pie purchased at the bakery was matched with a slice donated to the Oso rescue workers. “We had people as far as New York and Texas call-in and purchase slices for Oso,” she said. Over one weekend the bakery sent 900 slices of pie to the rescue efforts.
“We feel the best way to show we care is to give back,” Brien said. “Our team works hard to serve others and we are excited to be a part of the amazing community of Mountlake Terrace.”
To learn more about the Snohomish Pie Company, see its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SnohoPieCo.
– By Doug Petrowski