Opinion

WALLY'S WORLD: Plateau pie maker the apple of everyone's eye

If I mention a lady who baked her first pie 25 years ago and hasn’t stopped baking them since, who do you think I’d be writing about?    Yep, you guessed it. Suzie Sidhu, the Pie Goddess.

For a few minutes last week, Suzie and I stood in the summer sun outside her new location and I asked how many pies she might have baked during the course of her life.  This gave her a moment’s pause while she ran some quick, mental calculations. Then, winging it, she said, “I don’t know. Maybe 30,000. Roughly.”

That’s a lot of pies!

There’s a degree of risk whenever you open your own business, but it seems especially risky to start an enterprise that involves nothing more, and nothing less, than selling pies. Really now, is there much public demand for pie?

Apparently so. Today, Sidhu sells approximately 67 pies a week.

Suzie is a good-ol’, hometown gal, born and raised in Enumclaw and a graduate of our high school. Her maiden name was Bock and her parents, you might recall, operated Runland’s grocery for a few years way back whenever. She has a 24-year-old son who’s currently a Marine.

Since she baked that first pie, lo those many years ago, she has enjoyed baking them and has always believed a person should do what he or she loves to do. So she did. The notion that she couldn’t make a living off desserts hardly entered her mind.

Suzie first started selling pies to the general public in the old Buckley Sweet Shop in the mid-1980s. At that time, the place appealed mostly to retired people who’d stop by for coffee and a slice of pie and lunch customers, who were often employees of Buckley Main Street businesses and also liked a slice or two of pie. (The Sweet Shop was a soda-fountain hangout for local teenagers back in the 1950s, but that’s another column for another day.)

When Café Panini opened in April 2005, Suzie moved her pie-baking operation into the kitchen in the rear of that place, overlooking the Griffin Avenue sidewalk. Nearly every day, I’d pass that corner and she’d always wave and smile. I’ll miss seeing her there.

Of course, her new pie shop, at the corner of Griffin and Railroad Street, is also quite convenient, though it isn’t quite as strategic as her former location. On the day of our conversation, she was still stocking supplies and rearranging furniture; however, by the time you read this, the business will be in full swing, turning out 10 or 12 pies a day. She is closed Tuesday, open Friday and Saturday evenings, and open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the week.

Prices for her creations vary between $20 and $30, depending on the ingredients. Her best sellers are blackberry, coconut cream and, one of my personal favorites, her peanut-butter pie, which won a first place trophy at a national contest in Florida.

She wants to extend her heartfelt thanks to the local community for it’s support, encouragement and devotion, which makes her feel like she’s “doing the right thing.”

So, if you find yourself stressed out, you might unwind by treating yourself to one of Suzie’s pies because, as her motto cleverly reveals, “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts.”

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