In the spring of 2009, Laurie, a former deputy sheriff, and Kristin, a former banker, opened the Centerville Pie Company in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. These pie lovers baked their sweet and savory offerings at home before moving the operation to a small, 18-seat bakeshop. "You can't beat a pie," Laurie says. "It's a good thing. It makes a lot of people happy."
After setting up shop, Laurie and Kristin began making a steady stream of new customers happy with slices of everything from chicken to pecan pie. Then, in August 2009, an unexpected out-of-town visitor put their bakeshop on the map.
Oprah and her best friend, Gayle King, were in town attending Eunice Kennedy Shriver's funeral, and Kristin set out to give them some comfort in the form of a chicken pie. So she boxed one up and drove it over to Oprah's hotel.
Although security normally doesn't let Oprah accept edible gifts, Gayle convinced them to make an exception. Good thing they did...the pies were a hit! However, when a reporter from the Cape Cod Times called Harpo Studios to confirm that Oprah had tried Centerville Pie Company's chicken pie, the corporate office denied the claim. Thus, the scandal Oprah affectionately calls "pie-gate" began.
Soon after, Oprah called the Cape Cod Times and cleared up the story herself. She confirmed that she did, in fact, try the chicken pie and loved every bite, putting an end to "pie-gate."
"I don't tell everybody at Harpo every time I buy a pie," Oprah says. "But I fell in love with these pies."
After Oprah dished about this tasty chicken pie, Centerville Pie Company's business began to boom. They went from selling 20 to 40 pies a week to selling 100 to 200 pies a week!
Laurie and Kristin knew they needed extra hands in the kitchen, and approached a nonprofit organization that provides job placement and residential services to adults with disabilities. A successful partnership was formed!
The ladies moved their pie production into the kitchen at the nonprofit facility, and today, they employ men and women with special needs. These new employees help with everything from slicing and dicing apples to packaging pies for shipping.
"There's no doubt that Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, would stand up and cheer about that," Oprah says.
Since beginning this unique partnership, Kristin says she knows everything really does happen for a reason. "My reason is to help these individuals with disabilities," she says. "What I really hope for Centerville Pie is to duplicate this all over the world."
Oprah encourages pie lovers to try the creamy gravy, tender chicken and flaky crust for themselves. "Each pie is chock-full of so much chicken, I've got to tell you, you won't believe it," she says. "Order two or three, and put them in your freezer."
Yankee Magazine has named Centerville Pie a “Best of New England” – Editors’ Choice” winner in the May/June 2012 Travel Guide to New
Your family can feast on sea-clam or chicken pot pie before swapping plates for a slice of blueberry, cherry, apple, peach, pumpkin, or lemon meringue pie. Source: Yankee Magazine May/June 2012 - Page 105
USA Today: "Try Oprah's Favorite Pie in Cape Cod"
All the food is fresh and comforting and I thoroughly enjoy a breakfast sandwich and the homemade chicken salad. At the end of the day, if you are going to make the trip, it is about the pie — at least for dessert, if not every course. Source: USA Today, May 22, 2018
Visiting New England: "Why Cape Cod Locals, Travelers, the Media and a Beloved Celebrity Love Centerville Pie Company in Centerville, Mass."
In a region of the United States known for its homemade chicken pies, the Centerville Pie Co. has created a version that, to me, somehow tastes even superior to the most famous, long-established destinations specializing in this New England food staple. Source: Visiting New England, May 15, 2018
Boston Globe: "Centerville Pie Co. won over Oprah - and so many others"
Oprah Winfrey may be a part owner of Weight Watchers these days, but she still loves her pie. As evidence: She named the signature chicken pie at Centerville Pie Co. one of her “favorite things” in O Magazine this year — the third time the 30-employee Cape Cod pie bakery has received this honor. Source: Boston Globe, December 15, 2017
Worcester Telegram: "Table Hoppin': Centerville 'Pie Ladies' score hit with Oprah"
Laurie Bowen and Kristin Broadley, owners of Centerville Pie Co. on Cape Cod, share a lot in common with people who make the decision to change professions and enter into the food business. The longtime friends, known as “The Pie Ladies,” started baking pies at home before taking the leap in 2009, opening a small restaurant/bakeshop in Centerville. Source: Worcester Telegram, November 30, 2017