When Bri Warner announced she was closing her popular one-year-old pie bakery, Eater asked for her recommendations on where dejected fans should turn for their pie needs, particularly during the holiday season. To answer the question most thoroughly, she partook in an epic, two-part pie crawl to some of the Portland area's best bakeries, highlighting her favorite options at each.
There's a new twist in the plot, though, which may please fans of Warner's work: As of today, Maine Pie Line belongs to Two Fat Cats.
When talking in October about closing her business, Warner was adamant that she would only sell her recipes, not the name Maine Pie Line. "It was a child to me, and I wouldn't sell my child," she insisted. Today, though, Warner explained that Two Fat Cats owner Stacy Begin would be buying the brand and the recipes.
So what convinced Warner to sell the whole kit and caboodle? "The child is going to a very, very good home....I am confident that they will grow the companies in amazing ways," she said. "I am thrilled about the sale and couldn't be more excited to sell the company to such an accomplished and professional bakery. Our products are so different and complimentary to one another - I think it will be a great fit!"
Begin concurred. She said when she opened the discussion with Warner, the purchase felt like a logical move. "We're excited. We work well together, and I think it'll be nice for Bri to see that all of her hard work and her recipes are still doing well, and it'll be fun for us to do something different. Part of the deal is keeping her brand alive." Warner has already begun working with Begin's staff, training them on her established techniques and recipes.
Figuring out exactly how to incorporate Maine Pie Line into Two Fat Cats is a work-in-progress, Begin confessed, but there are two major components to consider: Wholesale and retail. As for the former, that's a little simpler. "Bri had a large wholesale business, and her pies will still be under the Maine Pie Line brand for those customers. We'll probably have a note like, 'Baked and packaged by Two Fat Cats,' but Bri's logo will still be prominent."
The retail aspect will be trickier, but Begin intends to sell Maine Pie Line alongside Two Fat Cats and thinks it will all work out well. "We definitely want to sell some in-house, and it should be great for Bri, since her old space didn't have the traditional storefront we have."
Begin is planning to start with some of Warner's most popular recipes, and hopes to have one available in time for Christmas purchases. Starting in January, more will be available at the store on a daily basis, perhaps three or four kinds per day. "I think her pies will complement ours nicely," Begin shared.
Why not? If there's anything better than pie, it's more pie.