Pie lovers rejoice: Westport native Michele Albano, owner of Michele's Pies , is bringing her award-winning creations to downtown Westport. Come early March, you won't have to drive to her Norwalk bakery the next time you have a craving for a Chocolate Pecan Bourbon or an Ultimate Banana Split pie.
"I grew up in Westport and saw all the mom-and-pop places go away," Michele said of why she's opening a retail location at 180 Post Road E. in the former home of Baskin Robbins. "This will be great for the town a place people can hang out, grab a treat and relax."
Plus, the timing is right. Since opening her bakery in 2007, Michele said business has been booming. As such, she has been looking to expand, and the location in Westport is a perfect fit.
The 800-square-foot Westport shop will be similar to her Norwalk location only bigger. And with more space comes the ability to offer more variety.
"We're going to have a wider coffee selection, more pastries and cookies, breakfast items, pies by the slice," Michele said. "We'll also have WiFi. And in the summer, we'll have some seating outside."
Michele, who started baking in early middle school, learned some trade secrets from her grandmother.
She started Michele's Pies out of her Vermont ski condo in May 2006, selling at local farmers' markets and craft shows. In April 2007, she competed in the National Pie Championships in Florida and won first place in the commercial division for her Chocolate Pecan Bourbon pie.
Since then, she's been featured on "Good Morning, America" and the Food Network and has won multiple first place awards in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 National Pie Championships. She's also featured in Bobby Flay's "Throwdown" cookbook and has her own coming out in September.
For Michele, the past few years have been a dream come true. And while she's pleased with her success, Michele is happiest knowing she has continued her grandmother's legacy.
"I remember the last thing I said to my grandmother was, 'One day, I'm going to make your pies famous,'" Michele recalled. "And I did."
Have you had a pie from Michele's Pies before? What's your favorite flavor?
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