New Pie Shop Bakes Up Tasty Treats In Broad Ripple
Photographer: Michael Durr
Clarissa Morley says her new Broad Ripple-based bakery, Pots & Pans Pie Co. on North College Avenue, is the result of a long-time passion for baking and a few key lessons learned from her family while growing up on the southside of Indy.
“Baking was something my family always did together, and my grandma and my mom taught me a lot,” she says. “They were always very gifted with baking and cooking and being creative. That kind of thing came pretty naturally to me. And then my dad owns a business, so he taught me a lot about that entrepreneurial side. So I would say it was a marriage of my family heritage.”
In the spring of 2016, Morley began taking out vendor space at various Indy farmers markets and offering her pies to crowds that she says were receptive right off the bat. While she initially had no expectation of eventually opening up her own storefront, word began to spread and, by the following year, she could barely keep up with demand – prompting Morley to start pondering the possibility of a brick-and-mortar facility.
“In the summer of 2017 I did five farmers markets, and it was kind of a way to do market research for my business,” Morley says. “I wanted to find out where my customer base would be. I was open to landing anywhere, but we really took off in Broad Ripple. It wasn’t just the most successful farmers market for us, but it was the one where I felt like I could gain long-term customers and have a strong presence.”
By Thanksgiving of 2017, Morley had outgrown the space she’d been using to bake and prep her products. It was time to start the search for a location where she could have the kitchen space to keep up with demand and also offer a dine-in café area.
“It became obvious that it made financial sense to move into our own space — the timing was just right,” she says, adding that Pots & Pans officially opened on December 1, 2018, just in time for the holidays. “We started looking around and pretty soon we found the spot that we’re in now. It’s the only spot I looked at and I knew I couldn’t pass it up.”
The Pots & Pans interior seats 15, and a large chalkboard above the front desk displays the pies, galettes and extras available at any given time. Customers can view the goings-on in the kitchen through a large window, and coffee and sparkling water is available to complement the food menu, which can include sweet pie selections like honey caramel pear, lemon or sugar creme brûlée and savory pot pies like chicken or meatball marinara — all depending on the season and what Morley and her staff feel like churning out for the week.
“Our take-and-bake chicken pot pie is really popular, and we were doing the Thai chicken curry occasionally, and now we’re doing that one every week because it’s really popular,” Morley adds. “Our galettes, like our apple cream cheese galette, are popular now too.”
Pots & Pans also sells a variety of succulent arrangements, which, like her pies, are inspired by her family and upbringing.
“My dad owns wholesale greenhouses, so it goes along with the whole idea of the business being a marriage of my family heritage,” she says. “It’s something people can take home and enjoy with their family.”
Online ordering is available through the Pots and Pans official website, and Morley also plans to continue offering her products through the farmers market scene while establishing her store presence in Broad Ripple.
“We’ve been at the winter Carmel and Broad Ripple markets, and we plan to be at the Broad Ripple market throughout the summer. We’ll always do that one,” she says.
Over time, Morley plans to try out various non-pie menu items. Over the winter, she and her team introduced a locally-sourced winter radish salad with winter greens, roasted sweet potatoes and a house-made dijon dressing, but she says her focus will always be on pie.
“There’s a lot you can do with pie, and I like that it’s versatile while kind of being in its own category,” she says. “It’s a fun business to be in.”
Pots & Pans Pie Co. is located at 4915 North College Avenue. For more information, call 317-600-3475 or visit potsandpansindy.com.