Northerners might initially cringe at the idea of a vinegar pie, but Alan and Donnie Love are making believers out of doubters in Detriot. Husband and wife, the Loves started baking their family-recipe pies in a Dairy Queen, intending the venture to be a small side business. The pies quickly started outselling the ice cream, leading the duo to open a booth in Detroit’s Eastern Market. Coupled with positive reviews from the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, response has been so strong that pies regularly sell out.
The Loves now count 26 flavors in their delectable repertoire, and the list continues to grow. Offerings vary week to week, with the most popular choices being banana custard, red velvet, sweet potato, chess pie and navy bean. Yes, navy bean—surprisingly sweet, light and not at all, well, beany.
Friendly to a fault, the Loves revel in introducing their products to newcomers through free samples. On busy Saturdays, it’s sometimes difficult to even get near the booth, but Alan is always ready to convert new fans with spoons and a big smile. The Loves also bake an array of tasty fruit pies using fresh Michigan blueberries, cherries and apples. Six-inch pies start at $6; 9-inch versions at $15.