IMPACT

Small Business Spotlight: Easy as Pie Brings Homemade Treats to KC

By

Alicia Briggs

– VOL. 7

Turning a passion project into a bonafide business is not an easy feat but Ann Lewis was up to the challenge. In 2017, she launched her own “pie pop-up,” Easy As Pie. Judging by her long list of satisfied customers, you might think Ann had always planned to create her own pie-shop. That wasn’t entirely the case, however. 

By day, Ann is a middle school choir director. For her, baking was something she did after work to wind down. She didn’t intend for it to become a business but her friends had other ideas. 

“My friends encouraged me to make a Facebook post offering Thanksgiving pies for people to purchase, so I begrudgingly decided to do it,” Ann explains. “I figured I would only sell a few pies, but I ended up selling nearly forty pies after that initial post! Since then, I have done tons of pop-ups at different stores, and sold thousands of pies!” 

It’s no surprise that her pies were such a hit – Ann has been a long-time baker since high school. Her experience and love for her craft shine through in each “made from scratch with love” pie she bakes. While Ann still loves teaching, she says, “[I] would eventually love to make baking my main hustle – whether that be opening a pie shop, or just baking full time.”

Image of Easy as Pie KC Ann Lewis

Ann has been baking since she was in high school but it wasn’t until 2017 that her passion become a business opportunity.

Ann’s love for her local community is a big part of everything she does. “Kansas City is such an inspiring place!” she says. After attending college in a suburb of the city, she knew she wanted to stay in Kansas City post-graduation. Ann has now lived here for just over eleven years. 

One of her favorite things about the city is the diverse food, music, and art scene. “The maker and artist community is SO strong, and everyone supports each other,” she exclaims. “Also, Kansas City residents love shopping local. That is evident at many of the events people have around town that are well-attended.” 

Building a sense of community between neighbors is so important, especially during Covid, when people have felt so isolated.

It’s this type of supportive community that has been influential in inspiring and growing her own business. “I have a very loyal fanbase, and they show up for events, rain or shine! They also share about my business with their friends and families, which enables things to keep moving and growing in a positive direction,” Ann says.

Image of Easy as Pie KC Ann Lewis

Ann takes pride in how her baked goods  bring people together. At a recent Venn event, Neighbors had to find someone to share a piece of pie with before they could claim a slice for themselves.

Her focus on creating a strong community is what attracted Ann to Venn. As a business owner, she’s been able to promote Easy as Pie through the Life at Venn app and our community newsletter. She also recently hosted her own event for the Venn community. At her event, “Everyone had to find a neighbor to share a pie with in order to have one,” she explains. “Building that sense of community is so important, especially during Covid, when people have felt so isolated.”

During these times, it can feel especially challenging to start your own business. Ann’s continued success, however, is an inspiration for many. If you’re looking to start your own business, Ann has some advice for you: “Nothing will ever be perfect, and there will always be bumps in the road. Make sure a true passion is there, and that will carry you through the tough times.” 

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