We think every merchant we work with for Provisions is special -- but when we find one with a great story, we'll be featuring them here. Because we want to tell the world about our favorite makers.
It’s called the PieBox HQ: A small, bustling warehouse space nestled inside an industrial building in Chicago, where every PieBox is built, packed, and shipped. Just down the hall, the team behind PieBox designs, plans, and gets inspired by pie.
Started by Chicago pastry chef Adrienne Blumthal, PieBox was born out of a pastry problem. Adrienne was in pastry school -- making a lot of pie -- when she noticed a lack of pretty (and practical) ways to transport her desserts. She was carrying baked goods around town precariously in either plastic containers or cardboard boxes, neither of which looked nice enough to match the effort she’d put into her pies. She came up with the idea of a simple, handsome wooden box to hold a pie plate in place with plenty of room above it.
More: Like reading about pie? Here's how to make a perfect crust.
Heating metal to wood burn the PieBox logo; Assembling the boxes by hand
With the help of her (now) husband Steve and her graphic designer sister Carol, her idea for a simple wooden pastry carrier has grown into a thriving small business.
The PieBox is one of our best-selling products, and also one of our personal favorites. We noticed that people were giving the PieBox as a gift, so we decided to assemble the ultimate gift for a baker (just in time for Thanksgiving pies).
More: You should also give your favorite baker this.
We introduced Adrienne to another Provisions merchant: Kacie Potts of Designed by Kace. Kacie works full-time in Oklahoma City as a designer at a crafts company; she taught herself metalworking and in her spare time, she makes her own hand-stamped aluminum pie plates with quotes hidden on the bottom (favorites are “Nom Nom Nom," “Eat More Pie," and “That Last Piece is Mine”). Each pan takes about 30 minutes to stamp: First, the pan is buffed and polished, then each individual letter is imprinted using a steel stamp. The words get a quick fill in with ink to make the letters pop, and then the pan is ready to go.
Aluminum plates waiting to be stamped; Steel letter stamps
Kacie and Adrienne have collaborated to create a pie gift set exclusively for Provisions: a trio of tools to make any baker swoon (any by any baker, we mean us). Kacie is making a custom-stamped pie plate that reads “I’m Thankful For Pie” to bundle with a PieBox and leather carrying strap, and a tin of gourmet sugar spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and all-spice rounds out the set.
Whether you’re gifting the set, or using it for yourself, here are four of our favorite fall pie recipes to put it to good use:
Tell us, what is your favorite pie to bake?
Pie and plate photos by James Ransom; PieBox woodworking photos by Stephen Metzer; stamped pie plate photos by Kacie Potts