Try Pie: Baking and Bonding

Baking and Bonding


posted on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Try Pie is a unique asset to the Cedar Valley community. It serves two purposes: creating great dessert and empowering teen girls locally. Try Pie is a local bakery, but it’s also a social enterprise; a non-profit that runs like a business to support a social cause. They have a bustling kitchen and storefront, filling pie orders and baking and packaging pies in house. It didn’t start out this way though. 

Try Pie founders and young women themselves, Megan Tensen and Sarah Helleso, wanted to find a way to bring diverse girls together and empower them in all aspects of their lives. They also wanted to help bridge a gap that they saw in their community: that teens need jobs and that holding a job has a positive impact on a teen’s future. They consulted their community, and Try Pie was born. 

Started in Orchard Hill Church’s kitchen with lots of love, the founders began their journey into social enterprise-hood by employing local girls to bake and sell pies during high-demand seasons, like Easter and Christmas. As demand for both pies, space, and non-seasonal hours for the girl increased, Tensen and Helleso realized their need for something new. Soon the growing pains became too big to ignore, and the founders leaned on their workforce of local girls to help decide on what their next move should be. Through partnerships with the community, Try Pie was able to move out of the church kitchen and into their current downtown storefront, with a fully functional kitchen and enough room for all of their sweet endeavors. 

Try Pie continues to be a place where young women of the Cedar Valley can learn about themselves, each other, and their community while also strengthening their skills in business, finance, and faith. They have been present at every step in the formation and execution of Try Pie’s business model, and continue to be at the helm as their collective enterprise grows. Not only have they grown and learned from each other socially, they’ve also crafted some pretty fantastic and delicious pastries along the way. Getting your holiday dishes from Try Pie not only helps the local business community, but also helps to empower young women socially and educationally. Try a pie from Try Pie today!

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