Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
General Info & Our History
1. Do you offer catering?
Yes, all stores offer catering for smaller or larger orders. Catering is a great extension of our shop.
2. Who started the Grand Traverse Pie Company?
Mike and Denise Busley started the first pie shop. They quit their jobs in California, learned to make pies and then moved to Northern Michigan to open the first pie shop. Mike and Denise are both natives of Michigan.
3. When did the Grand Traverse Pie Company open?
The original shop opened in 1996 in Traverse City Michigan.
4. Have you always been a café and bakery?
No, the original shop sold pies exclusively. It was early 2000 that we began the café and bakery.
5. Where is Traverse City, Michigan?
Traverse City is in northwest lower Michigan and is known to be the Cherry Capital of the world!
6. Is any of the fruit you use grown in Michigan?
The cherries, apples and blueberries come from northern and western Michigan.
7. Does the fruit for your pies come from a can?
No, all the fruit we use for our pies is fresh frozen – except pumpkin – which is canned.
8. What kind of cherries do you use in your pies?
The cherries are tart Montmorency cherries.
9. What kind of apples do you use in your pies?
The regular apple and apple crumb use Northern Spy, natural apple pies are Golden Delicious which is naturally sweeter. Apple dumpling pies are a mixture of Jonathan (70%), Golden Delicious, Spy and Rome.
10. Do you offer any pies without sugar?
Natural fruit and Splenda pies do not have sugar.
11. What is in the crumb top?
Flour, margarine and sugar.
12. What is IQF and why is it important?
IQF stands for Individually Quick Frozen. When fruits and vegetables are individually quick frozen, they retain their quality better because there is less cell damage. No sugar is needed for this process and the fruit is free-flowing after frozen.
13. What is the best selling pie?
Cherry, and Cherry Crumb.
14. What are the other best-selling pies?
Apple and mixed berry. Each location will have different best-selling pies because of where they are located. Also, pumpkin and pecan are seasonal pies and will sell best in the fall.
15. How many varieties of pies do you make?
We have over 40 varieties of fruit and cream pies, but if you would like us to combine some fruit together to make something new, we will try it.
16. What fruit is in the Lakeshore Berry pie?
Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and apples.
17. What fruit is in the Mountain Berry pie?
Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries.
18. What sizes are the large and mini pies?
The large pie is a deep 9” crust and the mini pie is a 6” crust.
19. Does each shop make their own pies?
Yes, each franchise makes all their own products from scratch every day.
20. Is the pie crust made from scratch?
When the Grand Traverse Pie Company first began, we made all the crust at each location, now that we have expanded to so many shops, we have opened our own dough facility in Traverse City which makes our crust from scratch just like we did, but then they are frozen and arrive through Lipari Foods at each shop frozen.
21. Do you ship pies?
Yes, we ship pies all over the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. GTP Enterprise in Traverse City handles all shipping. Because there are no preservatives in the pies, we cannot ship them outside the U.S. We ship 2-day FedEx on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
22. What is the cost for shipping a pie?
The total charge for the pie, shipping, and handling is about $40.
23. How is a pie packaged for shipping?
The pie is shipped the day it is baked, once it cools, we package it in a bag, placed in a specially designed insert that cradles the pie in the shipping box.
24. Does the cream pie need to be refrigerated?
Yes, keep all cream pies refrigerated.
25. How do I store my pie at home?
All fruit pies should be left out on the counter, preferably not stored in an airtight container. Pumpkin, pecan, cream, key lime and lemon meringue pies should be stored in the refrigerator.
26. What is the shelf life of a pie?
The shelf life (our selling guidelines) of fruit and cream pies is 3 days, key lime, banana and lemon meringue is only 2 days. The pies are good a couple days beyond our shelf life but are their best when they are first made.
27. Can I buy a frozen pie?
Yes, the fruit pies are frozen before baking so the customer can bake the pie at their convenience at home. The pastry top pies freeze best, however, we can freeze the crumb top for special requests. The key lime pies can also be frozen, in fact, you can make and store key limes in the freezer and have them on hand. We do not freeze the cream pies.
28. Can I freeze an already baked pie?
Pies that are already baked can be frozen, however, they will not be as good as a fresh pie. If you are freezing an already baked pie, warming it in the oven after it thaws makes it taste fresher.
29. What is your favorite pie?
Make sure you know the answer to that question because customers will want to know. (Make sure we have that variety to sell!)
30. What other kinds of baked goods do you make?
We make muffins, turnovers, single apple dumplings with caramel, cinnamon rolls, cheesecakes, cookies, carrot cake, death by chocolate cake, a variety of bars and rice krispie treats.
31. How are the baked goods packaged?
You can get an individual serving of any baked good, however, you can also purchase all cakes whole.
32. What kind of cookies are available?
Chocolate chunk, peanut butter, frosted sugar, cherry oatmeal, white chocolate macadamia nut are the most popular and regular cookies that are made in each store, however, there are variations to these cookies.
33. What are the varieties of cheesecake?
Oreo, chocolate chip, turtle, plain, fruit swirl, pumpkin swirl, cherry peach crumb pie, lakeshore berry pie, and cherry crumb pie topped.
34. What kind of muffins do you have?
Blueberry, cherry, raspberry, banana nut, pumpkin, pumpkin with pecan, lemon poppy seed, apple and cherry bran.
35. Why is your carrot cake the best in the world?
Immediately after taking the carrot cake out of the oven, we pour on our special recipe glaze that absorbs into the entire cake. This makes the cake real moist. In addition to the glaze, we put nuts, carrots, pineapple and coconut in it and top it with cream cheese frosting.
36. What kind of bars do you have?
Pumpkin, peanut butter, lemon, goodie bars, and brownies.
Food and Beverages
37. What kind of food do you serve?
We are a deli café style establishment and we serve a variety of cold and grilled sandwiches, salads, soups, potpies and quiches.
38. Do you serve breakfast?
We serve quiches, breakfast quiche, breakfast sandwiches, wrap, oatmeal, fruit cups, yogurt parfaits and of course muffins, turnovers and pie if you like.
39. Do you offer espresso drinks?
Each shop is equipped with an espresso machine for making any espresso drink including lattes, cappuccinos, mocha, etc.
40. What kind of beverages do you have?
We serve Pepsi fountain pop, bottled water and some juices. We also make several varieties of smoothies as well as our coffee and espresso.
41. What kind of potpies and quiches do you offer?
We have chicken and beef pot pies and broccoli and cheddar, spinach and mushroom and quiche lorraine (ham and swiss).
42. Are the soups homemade?
We partner with a company in Ohio that makes our soup for us, the soup is made fresh and never frozen.
43. Is the food pre-made?
All menu items are made to order. So if anyone wants extra, add ons, substitutions or something left off, we can do that!
44. Are there additional charges for add-on food items?
Meat and cheese will have an additional charge that will be automatically be added at the register, some items such as lettuce and cucumbers are no additional charge.
45. What kind of dressings do you offer for salads?
Ranch, fat free ranch, lite Italian, honey French, raspberry vinaigrette, thousand island, blue cheese and berry cherry vinaigrette.
46. What is special about the berry cherry vinaigrette?
We have created our special recipe for the berry cherry vinaigrette that uses a combination of cherries and raspberries.
Catalog and retail merchandise
47. Do you offer a catalog?
Yes, our first publication was sent out the fall of 2006. You can request a catalog here >
48. Where is the shipping department?
All catalog orders come to and are processed by the shipping department located in Traverse City.
49. What items are offered in the catalog?
We ship fruit, cream, pumpkin and pecan pies, carrot and death by chocolate cakes, brownies, cookies, gift boxes, preserves, sauces, cheesecakes, chocolate covered cherries, dried cherries, our own label coffees and chocolate covered espresso beans.
50. What kind of sauces/preserves do we offer?
Cherry salsa, Cherry BBQ sauce, Cherry mustard, Cherry Vinaigrette and Cherry Juice Concentrate and cherry jams and butters.
51. Where do your preserves and sauces come from?
Cherry Republic from Glen Arbor in Northern Michigan
52. Where do the chocolate covered cherries and other dried cherry products come from?
Smeltzer’s Orchards in Frankfort (northern Michigan) make all our dried cherry products.