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OMG! $65.00 for a Thanksgiving pie [moved from Manhattan board]

I called The Little Pie Company this morning to inquire about their pie menu for Thanksgiving. This year they are offering a smaller variety...that did not surprise me, but what left me totally speechless was the price...$65.00 for a 10" pie. I know that the cost of ingredients has gone up, but (if I remember correctly) last year's Sour Cream Apple Walnut Pie was $45-something.

Am I the only one who is shocked?

The holiday pies at Two Little Red Hens cost $19.00 - 6" and $25.00 - 10"

Guess you know where I will ordering from this year.

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  1. Wait... people would actually rather pay $19~$65 for an extremely simple pumpkin pie instead of making their own?

    Or am I missing something that's really special about these pies...

    3 Replies
    1. re: the_state

      I'm a Manhattanite (former Coloradan) who bakes and cooks almost every night (bread included). But many of us have kitchens in old prewar, walk-up construction without full sized ovens (as in most long cookie sheets don't fit in it and a 9 x 13 pan is the cut off--forget a large turkey and roasting pan). My kitchen is about 3.5 x 6 (railroad corridor style so walls/bar on 3 sides), if I were overweight, I could not open the oven and stand in it at the same time. It's easy for me to go to mom's suburban house and make multiple pies, sides and turkey in the course of a couple days because she has two full-sized ovens, a 8 burner stove and a full size freezer--that Thanksgiving is impossible in my kitchen. I also live a few blocks from Two Little Red Hens and if I were having Thanksgiving at my place I would probably get pies from them too. Have you had their pumpkin or Brooklyn blackout cupcakes?! The OP might not be lazy, they might have some very difficult kitchen choreography and might not want their shaky steam radiator to dry their pies out prematurely.

      1. re: the_state

        As someone who works on Wall Street, I'm pretty sure there are no more lazy, rich Manhattanites left these days.

        1. re: bnemes3343

          i call BS. anyone who can afford a $65 is simultaneously doing something very right, and something very wrong. i guarantee you present a similar pie that you bought for half the price at dinner with a "omg. best bakery every ever! i waited in line for 4 hours and paid enough money to fill an empty SUV with gas" preface and you'll get the same reactions.

      2. Am I the only one who is shocked at last year's price of $45???? For a pie??? To very loosely paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson, "that better be one tasty $%^&*() pie."

        1. $65.00 for a pie? Apparently I'm in the wrong line of work.

          6 Replies
          1. re: jpc8015

            jpc, I was thinking the same thing!!! I could bake them here in Houston, DRIVE to NYC, sell them for $65/ea and STILL make $$. (I'm envisioning a little table set up in front of Dean & Deluca at 84th & Madison) I certainly dont begrudge anyone their profit margins, but geez...... and do I need to point out that $65 would actually provide an entire Thanksgiving dinner for 6 people anywhere else in the country?

            1. re: Cheflambo

              But would you be making your pies with "golden" apples?

              Oh, and if you can make an "entire" Thanksgiving dinner for six people for $65.oo, I want to shop where you shop! '-)

              1. re: Cheflambo

                Yeah, but you would need a publicist to tell the world how great your pies are and build up the hype. So figure that into the pie cost.

                To be fair, you wouldn't be paying NY prices for rent, etc either.

                1. re: rworange

                  Granted, I don't live in Manhattan anymore, but am well aware what things cost there, including rent, taxes, utilities ad nauseum. I also know that in my old neighborhood (Carnegie Hill) there are plenty of people who would think nothing of paying $65 for a pie that they didnt have to make or even carry home. Simple economics (whatever price the market will bear) allows $65 pies to happen.

                  That said, I know this is a "foodie" site. I am somewhat surprised to see there are so many people here who don't want to bake their own pies, even for this once-a-year meal. I'm giving serious thought to taking advantage of this peculiarity and offering MY pies to the locals (Houston) at a somewhat more reasonable (market-bearing) price. I'd even deliver them for a nominal extra charge.

                  And yes, here in Houston, I think it IS possible to put out a respectable Thanksgiving dinner for 6 people for $65. Im going to shop my local Kroger today with a full list of foods and see if the cost can really be kept that low. Stay tuned.......

                  1. re: Cheflambo

                    There are lots of "foodies" that don't cook and even some who cook don't bake.

                    1. re: Cheflambo

                      Making my own pies here in DFW. In fact, I made my crust today with lard and butter. I'll be making pumpkin, banana cream, pecan, and chocolate bourbon pecan, and it won't come close to $65 to make all of them!

              2. That's beyond ridiculous. By that same token, there are lines down 43rd every year for Little Pie Co. at Thanksgiving. Maybe they're trying to manage demand.

                1. As a home pie baker myself, the price is absolutely absurd. Ka and Ching to Little Pie Company. It's all about supply and demand. You want good pie, you can't make good pie, you buy good pie.

                  For those urban sophisticates wanting to give it a go...here is my thread. Click onto the slideshow for step by step pix.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/477353

                  1. That's just plain stupid, even in NYC.

                    1. That is just disgusting. You can practically buy a whole Thanksgiving meal for that amount of money.

                      1. It's all about the 'designer price tag'. Everyone knows what those pies cost, so they're supposed to be suitably impressed when they're told you bought the pie at the LPC.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ThreeGigs

                          Not sure I agree with the designer claim -- Little Pie Co. doesn't have that kind of cache. It's simple supply and demand. The latter exceeds the former, creating problems like long lines, so they've raised the price to restore equilibrium.

                        2. Picture of the pie in question ... " recipe uses 100% pure pumpkin"
                          http://www.littlepiecompany.com/Produ...

                          There's always the less expensive banana bread for $60. Do they tack shipping fees on top or is that included in the price?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: rworange

                            It just looks like a regular pumpkin pie.

                            1. re: rworange

                              A can of Libby's solid pack pumpkin is 100% pure pumpkin, so we really can't assume they are cooking and pureeing fresh squash in-house.

                              They don't even have cute little pumpkin cutouts on top, nothing to 'sex it up' or make it fancy, and I bet that whipped cream costs extra.

                              Oh, and that's TWO loaves of banana bread for $60. A bargain at $30 a loaf, better stock up.

                              Completely ridiculous.

                              1. re: babette feasts

                                Wow. Paying a premium for banana bread is really funny to me. I like banana bread, but it's major purpose in my life is to use excess/over ripe bananas...

                              2. re: rworange

                                According to their website shipping is additional. $10 for 2nd day, $20 for overnight, $35 for Saturday delivery.

                              3. So how is the pie? Any good? Yes, the price is crazy but I am curious...and obviously someone is buying.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ML8000

                                  It's good, but not $65 good. Not even their best pie (sour cream apple walnut) is worth that price.

                                2. I too was appalled by the price, but I just got off the phone with them, and the price in the store is $29.00 for the 10 inch pie (they usually have 2 smaller sizes, but not for Thanksgiving). The $65.00 is for their internet price. Hope that clears it up. Yes, the sour cream walnut apple pie is delicious, and in my opinion worth the $29.00 once a year.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: jnk

                                    $29.00 is ridiculous as opposed to completely retarded which is what $65.00 is.

                                    1. re: jpc8015

                                      Thirty dollars for a pie is still ridiculous, considering how easy they are to make! They'd better be serving it in a solid gold pie dish for $65, that's all I can say!

                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                        $30 isn't so bad. They have to make some money, and probably pay a lot of overtime to make enough pies for that line out the door.

                                        1. re: babette feasts

                                          I could see thirty dollars for some fancy pie with a fruit filling made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Were talking about pumpkin pie here

                                          1. re: jpc8015

                                            Well, yeah. The ingredient cost is probably $3-5 for the pumpkin pie, probably more for other fruits like frozen berries. Most food you want ingredients around 30% cost, but with pastry I think you can often get away with 20% cost, because with pastry (although not that particular pie) you can upcharge for fancy garnishes and advanced technique. Not every item is going to have the same food cost, so you average it out and charge the same for all the pies, some will bring more profit, some less. Or maybe they are just some combination of greedy and arrogant.

                                            Most of us in the food industry hate the holidays and secretly wish we could find ways to get people to NOT special order pies, etc (ask me about the 200 stollen I'll be making soon - no wait, just don't ask). Maybe the Little Pie Co has finally found the secret!

                                            1. re: jpc8015

                                              Actually we're not talking about a pumpkin pie, we are talking about a sour cream apple walnut pie that probably weighs close to 5 lbs. While I'm not condoning spending $65 for the pie (via FedEx) as opposed to $29 at the store itself, I am condoning comparing "apples to apples" as opposed to "apples to pumpkins". Is it more expensive to buy it vs. making it yourself? What isn't.

                                      2. re: jnk

                                        I guess I should start marketing my own Sour Cream Apple Pie...I posted the recipe on Home Cooking a few weeks ago. It is only a tad more tiome consuming than good old pumpkin

                                      3. Recently our home in Denver sold before our business property, so we have moved into a tiny Manhattan size apartment. The kitchen is the tinest part of the whole place. My oven only holds a small cookie sheet or a 13x9 pan. Coming from a commercial range to this lilliputian range has been an eye-opening experience into how most people live.

                                        That being said, I can fit 2 pies into the oven and it works quite nicely.
                                        $65.00 is crazy for a pie. For $65.00 you can get an amazing smoked turkey at Greenberg Smoked Turkeys www.gobblegobble.com. Much more bang for the buck.

                                        1. The devil in me would be an investigative journalist checking their dumpster for empty Mrs. Smith boxes. Those pie crusts looked 'bought' to me.
                                          Or for some of the other commercial bakers that have wholesale specialty arms.

                                          1. So it's a very, very tall 10 inch pie, right? I might pay $65 for a three foot tall pie....

                                            1. My god, and I thought the food prices at Nieman Marcus are through the roof. You can get a 10 inch apple pie from Nieman's for $67.50, and that INCLUDES shipping and handling! If you have an oven, get a Mrs. Smith's, glaze the top crust with an egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and a little grated cheddar cheese. Oh, and slip it into a glass pie pan before baking so no one will suspect!

                                              Anyone who says I sound like Sandra Tablescapes on Food Network will be shot on site! '-)

                                              1. I'd certainly go into the pie business if I lived in the US. I'd also sell knock down self assembly kits: a pumpkin, a cheap foil pie plate, some sugar, cinnamon, some flour, and the rest of this and that for only $30!!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  Yeah, but Sam, the packaging costs would eat you alive! Too bad you couldn't watch Letterman last night. He blew up a 1,500 pound pumpkin for Halloween. Said he was going to have the pieces baked into pies for the audience. I've never had pumpkin pie with dynamite seasoning! But I have had a pumpkin pike that was, "Dyn-O-Mite!" But that was years and years ago...

                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    I'd hollow out each pumpkin and pack the other stuff inside, fold the pie tin around the pumpkin, write the address on the pumpkin, and send it off. Very ecologically sound: no packaging to go to the landfill. Maybe have to charge $50 to Whole Foods shoppers.

                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                      A disater in the making. You are out of touch with this part of the market.

                                                      I would pay $65 for a pie shipped to my door. HOWEVER, if I had to DO anything to it ... forget about it. If instructions said to heat ... too much work. Don't even talk to me about half-baked items. No. I just want to eat. I don't want to cook. What? Mess up my pristine oven.

                                                2. My theory; someone was seriously "pie eyed" when they came up with the price. ;-D

                                                  1. I hope that most of the readers of this thread now realize that The Little Pie company's prices are not a ripoff. These are prices for shipping the product. TLPC's pies, especially the sour cream apple walnut, are superb, and can feed an army. Compared to the mediocre desserts upscale restaurants often charge $10 or more for, they are a value. New York is not a good pie town, so TLPC is an important bakery.

                                                    12 Replies
                                                      1. re: jpc8015

                                                        No, it's not. The in-store price of $29.00 is very much in line with other bakeries in the city.

                                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                                          $29 for an in store purchase in NYC seems reasonable to me, especially given the reasons for buying rather than baking already discussed on this page.

                                                          IMHO $65 for the online purchase would be ok if it included shipping, but from what I can see you have to pay an additional $10-$35 for shipping, which means the online price includes $36 for packaging. Plus, if you're buying online you probably don't live in NYC, which means you probably don't have the same reasons for not baking yourself and may have access to an equally good bakery at home. So the $65 internet price is a rip-off, but this is America, and we're allowed to rip people off if they're willing to pay.

                                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                                            Point well taken. That does seem high if shipping isn't included.

                                                        2. re: jpc8015

                                                          It's not a rip-off. You have to consider how crazy expensive rent is (especially commercial storefront) in Manhattan.

                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                            $29 isn't crazy but $65 is...shipping or not. Pies just aren't something that ships well.

                                                            1. re: ML8000

                                                              Yes, I was referring to the $29. I could have sworn Dave Feldman put that in his post. Perhaps he edited it.

                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                It's absurd. Does the pie taste better if you eat it in New York City? No? Then it's not worth more just because it's there.

                                                                1. re: jpc8015

                                                                  No, it doesn't taste better because you're in NY. But you obviously don't understand the concept of running a business and making a profit.

                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                    Actually it's that I do understand running a business and making a profit. You have to set your prices at a point where people are actually going to pay them if you want them to buy your product. I work as a buyer in a company that spends billions of dollars every year and every penny must be justified. I could never justify $65.00 for a pie as being fair and reasonable.

                                                                    1. re: jpc8015

                                                                      If you read my post above, you will see that I'm referring to the $29 pie, not the $65 one. And I'm sure there are people willing to pay $65 for a pie to be delivered to their door -- otherwise, they wouldn't be offering it. While you may not pay for it (and I wouldn't either), there are people who do. This is a free market, and people will charge what the market can bear.

                                                                  2. re: jpc8015

                                                                    For comparison's sake I just checked online to see how much a pie goes for in my area (Triangle area of NC). The nicest bakery in the area doesn't do pie, but they do have a 10" apple tart on their menu for $17.50, pick up in store only. They sell 8" round cakes for $32. Considering the higher cost of living in NYC in general, $29 for a pie that is in high demand doesn't seem extreme at all. I'm still curious about the how much they do in internet sales...

                                                        3. Wow, that is absurd. Here is a link to the best pie place in Houston, in my opinion - http://www.flyingsaucerpieshop.com. Pumpkin pies are $8.75. Maybe you can get 'em to ship some to NYC.

                                                          1. Wow... as I write this I just finished a slice of my "practice pie"... I always make a few in advance of the holidays. I made 3 8" pumpkin pies from scratch with 100% real pumpkin. Maybe I paid $10 for all the ingredients. I don't think I could pay $29 for a pumpkin pie. Apple, maybe, since then I wouldn't have to peel them, but not pumpkin.

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: iluvcookies

                                                              That's about my estimation as well...made a pumpkin pie earlier this week...organic pumpkin fromTJs was about $1.20 and the rest of the ingredients were maybe $5 (using organic ingredients)...so if I round up, about $7...Sheesh $65 is ridiculous but if someone is willing to buy it then good for them.

                                                              1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                LPC chooses to charge the same price for all of their pies for shipping, which indicates to me that the ingredient cost is a small part of LPC's expense.

                                                                I'm a little surprised by the outrage here, as it has been common, in my long experience, to have shipping and handling costs exceed the price of the items themselves when buying mail order. This has been true of relatively inexpensive items, such as cookies, to smoked fish, fresh meats, etc. LPC chooses to build the shipping into the price of the item rather than as a separate charge, which is probably a public relations mistake.

                                                                1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                                  No, they charge an additional $10-$35 for shipping on top of the $65. So a person could potentially pay $100 for a pumpkin pie delivered to their house. I have a feeling the online availability is more of an advertising technique than an actual revenue source.

                                                                  1. re: mpjmph

                                                                    So you're saying it's a $100 pie? Okay, that's just silly stupid. You're right about the PR value...that's pretty good. Still, I'm not buying even at $29.

                                                                    1. re: ML8000

                                                                      Yep, it's $100 a pie if you order online and want Saturday delivery.

                                                                      1. re: mpjmph

                                                                        For that amount, you can probably hire a cook to come to your house and bake a pie for you. But chances are you'd have to do the clean up.

                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                          Just got a Dean and Delouca Catalog and LPC pies are indeed $65 plus, yea, PLUS shipping and they require next day shipping.

                                                                      2. re: mpjmph

                                                                        Now I'm really curious. Next time I'm at LPC, I'll try to find out what the deal is.

                                                                  2. I don't know what shipping runs, but these people in Michigan make a VERY fine pie
                                                                    And I thought THEY were high b/c their pies are about 15 bucks at Krogers!

                                                                    http://store.achatzpies.com/

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: coney with everything

                                                                      Food trivia: Achatz Pies is owned by the family of Grant Achatz, the chef/owner of Alinea in Chicago -- he grew up cooking in their restaurant and now he's one of the most acclaimed chefs in the world.

                                                                      http://www.alinea-restaurant.com/

                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                                        Love, love, love the Michigan 4 berry pie. Grand Traverse Pie Company Company (http://www.gtpie.com) also makes some tasty pies (though I am not impressed with the soup/sandwich offerings in their retail outlets). Both of these vendors retail their pies for $25-$30 (like the Little Pie Company) but do not charge the tremendous markup for internet orders, just a reasonable shipping fee.

                                                                        1. re: kmcarr

                                                                          Good Morning America has included the Achatz 4 berry as one of their top 4 pies in America! You can vote for them here:
                                                                          http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Recipes/sto...

                                                                      2. On the Little Pie Company Web site, a variety of pies (Pumpkin, Apple, Sour Cream Walnut Apple, Cherry, Key Lime, Pecan...etc..) all cost $65 each PLUS $10 for 2 day delivery, $20 for next day delivery, and $30 for Saturday delivery.

                                                                        A potential $100 for a pie? $100 for a KEY LIME PIE??? It's just absurd. But they will likely run out of those apple pies... Bad economy and all...I bet they do.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                          Obviously not a case of the Emperor's new clothes, but obviously the Emperor's new pie?

                                                                        2. Costco has a large pumpkin pie for $6.99. Even if the LIttle Pie Company is of better quality, is it really worth nearly 9x as much?

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Rick

                                                                            Costco had their pumpkin pie on sample today and I thought it was very good! And it's only $5.99!

                                                                            1. re: Rick

                                                                              Give me Mrs. Smiths for less than $5 and really good pie. This is insane. Are the people ordering these pies trying to impress someone??

                                                                            2. Used to live in Manhattan. Had a small kitchen. Stove sub-par and yet, I was able to cook extremely wonderful meals for my family and guests. In fact, I made some pies as well. No pie is worth $65.00. Listen--years ago, YEARS ago, I was watching Nathalie Dupree on PBS. She was making pie dough and said something to the effect of "..if you ruin a pie dough, you just start all over again--all it is is water, flour, some fat and ice"....those words were an ephipany to me. After a couple of tries, a good pie dough is just about foolproof. I dunno--when you have kids, $65 is just too much money to spend on a dessert. It can pay for a couple of co-pays to the doctor...a few trips to the movies....medication...gas for the car....paying for bills...school supplies...the list goes on. Heck...most people I know who are able to throw $65 away on a pie are too darn CHEAP--they like to hold on to their money.........

                                                                              1. The pie's worth is subjective. Everyone's spending habits and interests are subjective. Perhaps their theory is increase the price and let there be less demand and perhaps the same or more profit.

                                                                                And as KT pointed out, just because one is a foodie or a hound doesn't necessarily mean one love to cook or bake. If I liked the pie or if it was husband's favorite, etc. I'd probably get it as a special treat.