About the Author

Jenell Parsons

Books by this Author
You Wanna Piece of Me?

You Wanna Piece of Me?

More than 100 Seriously Tasty Recipes for Sweet and Savory Pies
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From the Introduction:
Any Way You Slice It!
The day we opened we had “oven issues” (or that’s what I decided to call it). Instead of flipping the “closed” sign on the door around to “open,” I panicked and sent one of my new staff outside to explain that we would not be opening as planned, blaming those oven issues. A wave of disappointment swept down the lineup of people eagerly waiting outside. In reality, of course, the oven was fine; it was me who wasn’t. I was terrified all over again that I wasn’t ready, that for some reason the pies I’d been making for the past six years weren’t good enough. But then the first person in line spotted the display case inside, full of pies. They insisted on buying a pie from it—it didn’t matter if the oven was “broken”; these pies were ready to be eaten! Well, once the door opened, they all came flooding in. Despite my best efforts to remain closed that first day, we sold out of pie. It was a sellout opening day, and I never even flipped the sign on the door! 

A short, crazy six months later, we outgrew our space. We were making pies as fast as we could but still turning customers away. Not only were we a regular spot for the locals, we had become a destination for people visiting Vancouver. Over the years, we’ve had customers from all over Canada, the US, New Zealand, and Germany (to name just a few), who all make a stop at The Pie Hole part of their Vancouver itinerary. If word was going to keep spreading, I had to be strategic about my second location and make sure it was big enough to be used as a central bakery from where we could distribute to our wholesale partners, and of course our current shop, and future shops to come. 

When I sat down to write this cookbook, I got a bit stuck. I packed up my laptop and went to a café to write. But it wasn’t just any café; it was mine (goosebumps). Sitting there with a cup of tea, I interacted with all my fellow pie lovers—from our daily regulars to those visiting for the first time. When I said I needed inspiration—well, there was certainly no shortage of it there. Our customers are not shy (which I love!); they often approach me and share their stories every day. Stories about baking pies with their moms; about their grandmothers who carefully planned family dinners to include everyone’s favorite pie; tales about the time they attempted and failed to make a pie, usually muttering about how difficult pie crust is to make. Many of their stories make me smile; some make me tear up and hug them in a warm embrace. 

Recently an older woman told me that she used to come every week to The Pie Hole for apple pie with her husband. Apple pie was his favorite, and after more than 50 years of marriage, she was so happy to have found a place where he loved the pie so much that she didn’t have to make it anymore! She told me that he recently passed away, but that when she’s really missing him, she comes to the shop and orders a slice of apple pie, just as they did on their weekly dates. 

People often open their hearts to me, sharing some of their fondest memories and real vulnerabilities with me. They walk away not knowing how their stories affect me— and they do, deeply. As I am writing this book, I keep changing the words on the page in a direct reflection of these inter- actions. Day after day, as I watch customers come through the doors, I am constantly reminded how special this thing I have created is. Over the years, countless customers have brought Pie Hole pies to their family dinners and special occasions. It’s amazing and it’s humbling. We have become a part of their traditions and helped contribute to their lasting memories. For me, there is nothing more special than that. 

I am delighted to write this book, and to share my recipes with all of you. My hope is that you will create a little of the same magic we have at The Pie Hole in your own home. 

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