People ask me how we started making gluten free pies. One day I had an appointment to see a buyer at a major grocery store chain in June 2010. I was presenting them a gluten meat pie. He agreed to buy the meat pie, but he also said can I make a gluten free sweet pie that tasted good. I said, "I'll try, but how much time do I have?". He said in two to three months. So I called my flour company to ask for their stock gluten free flour. I was so excited thinking that it would be so easy. But I was so wrong.
At the Bakery
I open the stock gluten free flour to make a pie, but it was far from ideal. The mix was good for cake and brownies. However, it lacked texture that is ideal for pies. It needed a harder flour to give pie that texture where it will be crispy/flaky on the top and soft. Then I thought of my late mother who told me to buy a chana flour (bean/lentil flour) for the house one day. This memory was so unrelated to pies, but I thought let's give it a try. The next day I go to the local Indian grocery store to buy this flour. There were plenty of unique flours that I never knew of like juwa flour, atta flour, brown rice flour, etc. At the bakery, I start using the chana flour to make pies and pie crust. After a few days of messing around, we did our first generation of gluten-free pies.
We start mass producing these pies to groceries store and food service companies. We were so happy to see the sales of these pies. There were so many people who said this was the first time they had a pie in years. Now six years later, we have continued to evolve our recipe to what it is today. Now we are Amazon number one gluten-free pie seller, the only Safeway suppliers of gluten-free pies and pie shells.