For the last several years, Sara’s Tipsy Pies have been a staple at the Minnesota State Fair. Now that owner Sara Hayden has opened a retail storefront in Stillwater, locals need not travel far (or wait until August) to get their fix of her handheld pies, which also come complete with a little boozy kick.
Sara’s Tipsy Pies grew from Hayden’s lifelong love of baking, which she inherited from her mother, along with a secret pie crust recipe. At the encouragement of a friend, she made the leap from home baking to professional baking around 2012, first baking in a community kitchen and later out of the basement of the Marine General Store. Her pies debuted at the Minnesota State Fair in 2015 and were immediately a hit; Hayden sold over 13,000 that first year alone.
The new home of Sara’s Tipsy Pies rests on the corner of 4th Street and Churchill Street in Stillwater’s South Hill neighborhood. The move into the new space marks the first time Hayden, who lives in Oak Park Heights with her husband, Chris, and their five children, has had a brick-and-mortar location to not only bake pies but also serve them.
“This is a big step for us, because we never had a place that people (could) stop in and buy a ready-made pie,” she said.
The space also includes a viewing window, so that customers can catch a glimpse of the pie-making in action. “I remember being a little girl and going over to Goggin’s (Candy), and you can watch the ladies dipping the candies into the chocolate,” Hayden said. “People always want to see us making pies … and a lot of pies aren’t handmade anymore; they’re made by machine. So, there’s that joy that we’re excited to share.”
Joining Hayden in the new digs are Shelley Scholtes of Silver Spoon Baker and Vivian Gurdian of Willow Coffee, whose products will also be available for purchase.
“Thursday through Sunday, we’ll have fresh coffee from Willow, we’ll have Shelley’s baked goods and then we’ll have tipsy pies, both savory and sweet,” she said.
“I think we all support each other well,” Hayden said of the partnership. “I’ve always been really lucky with the mentors that I’ve had in my life and starting the company …. There’s always opportunities to give back and pay it forward.”
The desire to give back is at the heart of Sara’s Tipsy Pies, as Hayden donates a portion of the profits to the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota, a cause near and dear to her, as her daughter Madi was born with Down syndrome.
Hayden has big dreams for the future of her business, such as hosting baking classes and birthday parties, but for the next few weeks, she’s just trying to get through the rush of the holidays.
Sara’s Tipsy Pies is open for walk-in sales of frozen pies 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and for pies, Willow Coffee and products from Silver Spoon Baker 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekends. For more information, visit sarastipsypies.com.