Why you should go: Hubbard's pies don't have clever names like the ones in the hit indie flick Waitress, but for a local dessert feast the Middleton diner's sweet treats are tops.
What's a normal day in the life of a pie specialist? My day starts between 4 and 6 a.m. First I take a pie inventory to see what we need. I have a great staff. When we're busy, they bake 60 to 80 pies a day. While they're baking I'm managing the operation and creating the next month's pie list. Every month we have at least 15 kinds of pie on hand, and seven or eight are rotated out at the end to make room for seasonal favorites.
I order ingredients twice a week - we create all of our fillings fresh, from scratch. I just stocked up on pumpkin. I'm projecting about 650 pies for Thanksgiving, plus lots more in December. I'm the pie tester - I always try a forkful of filling to be sure it's perfect. I have to watch my calories! Whipped cream is one of my favorite things. I top the pies and make 'em look beautiful. I also do Hubbard's made-to-order wedding cakes. My gift to the newlyweds is the top tier of the cake - I don't charge for that!
I adjust my schedule depending on demand, but generally I work till 1 or 2 in the afternoon so I can be home for my daughters after school.
How did you come by this line of work? I started with my Easy-Bake oven at the age of 5. I learned a lot from my mom - she bakes the most wonderful desserts you'd ever want to eat. And I have an aunt who's a cake decorator. I took cake decorating lessons when I was 13. I graduated from MATC with an associate degree in culinary arts. I've worked at several bakeries in the area, and I taught cake decorating at MATC. I started here last April - I'd never had a managerial job before, but teaching prepared me well. I was born to bake! I love this job.
Some of your greatest pie hits? Altogether we've developed some 125 different pies, and there are always new ones on the way. We do four kinds of chocolate pie, and I'm thinking about launching an Elvis pie with peanut butter, bananas and chocolate. Chocolate Bedlam's filled with candy and Oreos. My husband's favorite is French Silk. We've got Black Forest pie, German Chocolate pie, Mint Oreo, Peanut Butter Cup. Our lemon meringue's to die for. We have lemon and white chocolate, too. We like to say Grandma Hubbard's spirit inspires our pies, but sometimes it's a customer's comment that gets us going. One customer asked for bluebarb - blueberry and rhubarb - last summer, and we decided to try it. People loved it, so we're keeping it in our warm-weather repertory. Our winter fruit pies tend to be apple-based. Recently we came up with apple-cranberry and also cranberries and cream - it's like a wonderful cheesecake.
Recommendations for Thanksgiving? Pumpkin, obviously. And we've got a great pecan pie full of nuts and chewy goodness to serve warm with a scoop of ice cream. Caramel apple walnut's another goodie, and we can do it with or without nuts at your request. But if chocolate's a must, French Silk's a winner.