Aarthi and Addy Parthasarathl wanted to find a fun way to bond and build memories together before Addy, now 15, headed off to college. At first, the mother-daughter duo thought of starting a blog, but then realized making pies would be something they would both enjoy (since they like eating them). And so, while Addy had zero baking experience and Aarthi had some (she knew how to make cookies and cupcakes), they figured, together, they’d trust the process and enjoy the journey.
The result is Magpies, a Charlotte, N.C.-based pie company specializing in small handheld pies. The name is a combination of the words “magic” and “pie,” which stemmed from the Parthasarathl’s hope of giving customers a magical experience.
The two, who spent a lot of time experimenting, started selling their pies in 2019 outside of local breweries and strip malls, but soon, encouraged by their customers, segued to local farmers’ markets. Their pies come in a variety of flavors from savory to sweet and are made with locally sourced produce such as seasonal fruits, veggies and dairy. In addition, they offer quiches.
They’ve done so well that they recently upgraded to a rented commissary kitchen in order to churn out larger orders. Among their more popular flavors: Strawberry crème, cherry and broccoli and cheddar cheese.
Aarthi credits their success to the homemade pie crust. “I believe it’s unique because it’s very buttery and flaky. I definitely feel like we make the best pie crust in our area,” she said.
Another reason they sell well, she said, is that they have a great shelf-life, allowing customers to warm them in the air-fryer, microwave or oven. And they’re great for those on-the-go as they fit in the palm of your hand.
There’s also something about the smiles they give – and get – that make these pies so magical. Aarthi said she’s in awe of her daughter and how she’s grown these past two years as their business has evolved.
“When Addy first started at 13, she was making the packaging and labeling. Then she started to learn how to make the dough. Now fast-forward to 15 years old and she can make a whole pie by herself. I love seeing how she’s evolved in her skills and knowledge,” said Aarthi.
And while neither of them knows what the future holds for Magpies, when Addy goes off to college, Aarthi is pretty sure the business will continue.
“Who knows?” she said, jokingly. “Addy might take this business to college. I would be all for it to go with her.”
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