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My granddad taught me to make pie. His favorite recipe was his mom’s Lemon “Butta”, which they’d make together during hot Alabama summers in the 1940s.
We made ours in 90s Detroit, no matter the season. He’d take me along to shop for ingredients, and I’d watch him pick up each lemon, toss it between his hands, smell it, hold it to his ear. “They tell you if they’re ready to be eaten or not,” he’d say with a smile.
We’d return home with a bagful, squeeze their juice into loads of melted butter, sugar, and other goodies, and bake it all in a handmade crust. The house would smell delicious for days.
Twenty years later, with kids of my own and a trip to cooking school, I decided this fourth-generation recipe was too special to keep in the family. Lush Yummies Pie Co. is dedicated to making pies like my granddad taught me, but with my own spin and a strong emphasis on local, farm-fresh ingredients. And, yes, I still listen to my lemons.
Jennifer Lyle is the owner of Lush Yummies Pie Company LLC. She is the head chef and founder with a production kitchen in Detroit’s historical Eastern Market. Prior to Lush Yummies Pie Company, Lyle was a lead teacher in Atlanta Georgia through Teach for America where she served as 9th grade English teacher and cheerleading coach. She found herself often shelling out her own money to her girls for uniforms, so she began showing them how to make money through baked goods. After her teaching commitment was completed, she followed her passion for baking and began continuing her education at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Miami in the patisserie and baking program. Jennifer also holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University in communications and graphic design.
Jennifer later moved back to her hometown of Detroit Michigan and soon went back to her grandfather’s pie recipes. She decided to leave her job and pursue baking full time! She had very little money and began seeking funding to start her pie business after selling her grandfathers pies at local Detroit events. She always enjoyed watching shark tank and came up with an idea to start participating in pitch competitions, she knew that she just needed a good presentation and she could get all the help that she needed. She tried out for a few competitions, four to be exact and lost all four competitions in a row. With each loss she learned valuable lessons about her business and how to perfect her pitch presentation. It wasn’t long before she would try to pitch again, she had the confidence to tackle any obstacle and so she did. She went out and won over 14 pitch and grant competitions to secure the funding, branding and technical assistance that she needed to give her business a boost!. Jennifer now has her own production facility in Eastern Market. She provides her best love family pies locally to national chain grocery stores, local markets and she ships her pies nationwide through online sales. Today Jennifer’s Lemon Butta Pies have won many awards and she spends her time growing Lush Yummies Pie Company to be a national brand!