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Pie Q&A

Our History

Who started the Grand Traverse Pie Company?
Michigan natives, Mike and Denise Busley, started the first pie shop. They left their jobs in California, learned to make pies and then moved to northern Michigan to open the first pie shop. Click here for more about our story.

When did the Grand Traverse Pie Company open?
The first shop opened July 19, 1996, in Traverse City, Michigan. The original shop is a great destination for visitors to the area.

Did we open as a cafe and bakery?
No, the original shop sold pies exclusively. It was in early 2000 that we began the cafe and bakery.

Where is Traverse City, Michigan?
Traverse City is in northwest Lower Michigan and is known to be the Cherry Capital of the world!



Where does the fruit come from?
The cherries, apples, blueberries, and peaches come from northern and western Michigan; other fruit comes from other states within the U.S.

Does the fruit for our pies come from a can?
All the fruit is fresh IQF (individually quick frozen), except pumpkin, which is canned.

What kind of cherries do we use?
We only use tart Montmorency cherries in our pies.

What kind of apples do we use?
Our standard apple and apple crumb pies use Northern Spy; natural apple pies use Golden Delicious, which is a naturally sweeter variety. Apple dumpling pies are a mixture of Jonathan (70%), Golden Delicious, Spy and Rome.

Do we have any pies without sugar?
Our Natural fruit (pastry) and Splenda pies do not have sugar.

What is in the crumb top?
Flour, trans-fat-free margarine, and sugar.

What is IQF and why is it important?
Individually Quick Frozen. When fruits and vegetables are individually quick frozen, they retain a higher quality because there is less cell damage. No sugar is needed for this process and the fruit is free-flowing once thawed.

What is our best selling pie?
Grand Traverse Cherry Crumb and Old Mission Cherry (pastry).

What are the other best selling pies?
Peninsula Apple Crumb and Front Street Apple (pastry), as well as our mixed berry pies. Each GT Pie location has different best selling pies because of where they are located. Our pumpkin and pecan varieties are seasonal pies and sell best in the fall.

What are the most expensive pies to make?
Because our pies are dependent on the fruit crop, our expenses can change at any time due to weather factors including drought, late spring frost, too much rain or heavy winds.

How many varieties of pies do we make?
We have over 40 varieties of fruit and cream pies combined, but if a customer wants us to combine some fruit together to make something new, we will try it!

What sizes are the large and mini pies?
The large pie is a deep 9” crust and the mini pie is a 6” crust. Some shops also offer a 20” pie, great for weddings and special events. Contact us to discover which shops offer larger, special event pies.

Does each shop make their own pies?
Yes, each location makes pies from scratch every day.

Is the crust made from scratch?
In Grand Traverse Pie Company’s early days, we made every bit of 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, then distributes it to each of our locations.

Do you ship pies and how much does it cost?
Yes, we ship pies all over the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Check out our shipping details here.

Does the cream pie need to be refrigerated?
Yes, keep all cream pies refrigerated.

How do I store my pie at home?
Fruit pies are best stored on your counter, at room temperature. Cream, pumpkin & pecan pies, cheesecakes, and carrot cakes should be refrigerated. See our Pie Care page for more information.

What is the shelf life of a pie?
The shelf life is generally 5 days when purchased fresh, or 2-3 days when shipped.

Can I buy a frozen pie?
Yes, most of our shops offer a select variety of frozen pies on a daily basis. Call ahead to your local shop for special freeze requests. We do not freeze cream pies.

Can I freeze an already-baked pie?
Pies that have already been baked can be frozen, however, they will not be as good as when they were fresh. If you are freezing an already-baked pie, warming it in the oven after it thaws makes it taste fresher.


Baked Goods

What other kinds of baked goods do we 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.

How are the baked goods packaged?
You can get an individual serving of any baked goods. Ask our shops about discounts for bulk purchases of baked goods. Cakes can be purchased whole.

What kind of cookies do we have?
We have Chocolate Chunk with Pecans, Chocolate Chip, Sugar, Frosted Sugar, Peanut Butter, Cherry Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Gluten-Free Cowboy Cookie, and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies. There are select flavors of these in our shops every day. Call and ask what is freshly baked today!

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. There are select flavors of these in our shops every day. Call and ask what is freshly baked today!

What kind of muffins do we have?
Blueberry, cherry, raspberry, banana nut, pumpkin, pumpkin with pecan, lemon poppy seed, apple, and cherry bran and gluten-free. There are select flavors of these in our shops every day. Call and ask what is freshly baked today!

What kind of bars do we have?
Pumpkin, peanut butter, lemon, goodie bars, and brownies.

Why is our carrot cake the best in the world (at least according to us!)?
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 extremely moist. In addition to the glaze, it’s full of nuts, carrots, pineapple, and coconut, and it’s topped with cream cheese frosting.


Food and Beverages

Do you offer catering?
Yes, all shops offer catering for large and small needs, available for delivery or pickup. Visit your nearest location’s page for menus and online ordering (where available). We also offer call-ahead To Go orders for smaller office orders that can be faxed or called in for pickup.

What kind of food do we serve?
We are a deli cafe-style establishment and we serve a variety of cold and grilled sandwiches, salads, soups, pot pies, beef pasties, and quiche as well as breakfast and options for kids.

Do we serve breakfast?
We serve quiche, breakfast quiche, breakfast sandwiches, wraps, oatmeal, fruit cups, yogurt parfaits and of course muffins and turnovers. And for those of you who like to start your day on an extra sweet note, we have pie!

Do we have espresso drinks?
Each shop is equipped with an espresso machine for making most espresso drinks including lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, etc.

What kind of beverages do we have?
Most of our shops serve Pepsi fountain pop, bottled water, and some juices. We also offer coffee, tea, and milk. Some locations make several varieties of smoothies.

What kind of pot pies and quiche do we offer?
We have chicken and beef pot pies in 6” and 9” sizes. Our quiche is offered by the slice or 9″ whole. Varieties include: broccoli cheddar, spinach mushroom, Mediterranean veggie, and quiche Lorraine (ham and Swiss). There are select flavors of these in our shops every day. Call and ask what is freshly baked today!

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.

Is the food pre-made?
All menu items are made to order. If you want something extra, and add-on or substitution or something left off, we can do that!

Are there additional charges for add-ons for food items?
Meat and cheese will have an additional charge that will automatically be added at the register, while items such as lettuce and cucumbers are no additional charge.

What kind of dressings do we offer for salads?
Housemade ranch, fat-free ranch, light Italian, honey French, raspberry vinaigrette, Thousand Island, blue cheese and berry cherry vinaigrette.

What is special about the berry cherry vinaigrette?
We have created our special recipe for the berry cherry vinaigrette, using a combination of cherries and raspberries.


Catalog and Retail Merchandise

Do we sell gift cards?
Yes! You can purchase a DOUGH gift card at any one of our GT Pie locations or online. If you order online, we will send a gift card right to you or the recipient you choose with a sentiment, just let us know.

Do we offer a catalog?
Yes, our first publication was sent out in the fall of 2006. You can request a catalog here.

Where is the shipping department located?
All catalog and online shipping orders are processed by the shipping department, located in Traverse City, Michigan (zip code: 49686).

What items are offered in the catalog?
We ship fruit pies, pumpkin and pecan pies, cream pies, chicken and beef pot pies, cheesecakes, carrot cakes, mini pies, and our own label cherry coffee. Ask about our personalized fruit pies for shipping coast to coast!