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Indiana Artisan Lisa Sparks
Six Pie Varieties/Pie-In-A-Jar
Lisa Sparks,
Lisa’s Pie Shop

A diagnosis of cancer and a brush with death during her recovery gave Lisa Sparks all the motivation she needed to make a significant change in her life.

When she was released from the hospital she immediately quit her factory job which she’d “always hated” and started a pie shop in the tiny town of Kempton, Indiana (population 150). What seemed odd to everyone who knew her was that Lisa didn’t like pie and had never baked one in her life. So, why a pie shop? Lisa will tell you the idea just “came to her” and firmly believes it was divinely inspired.

Determined to be a success in her new venture, Lisa talked to friends and family members who were excellent pie makers. With their advice, she made her first pie and entered it in the 1990 Frankton Apple Pie Festival where the pie baking novice walked off with the Grand Champion ribbon. To build her business, Lisa dropped off sample pies at neighboring beauty salons, banks, restaurants, and family grocery stores. Her sales quickly grew and soon she was supplying thousands of pies a week to 36 food retailers in central Indiana. In December 2002, she moved her business to a larger shop in Atlanta, Indiana where she focuses on in-store and on-line sales with the exception of still selling pies to her first retail customer, the Harvest Market in Middletown.

Lisa makes 23 different pies by hand-each bearing the signature hand carved fruit design that she personally carves on the top of each pie. Much of the fruit is handpicked from the Lisa’s backyard orchard and farm.

Not one to waste anything, Lisa struggled with discarding her unsold pies each evening until she came up with her innovative “Pie-in-a-Jar”. Whole pies, crust and all, are packed into canning jars and preserved in a water bath canner. The shelf stable product needs no refrigeration and can be easily shipped and stored.

Receiving the Indiana Artisan designation has helped Lisa’s products “stand out” to her customers. She has plans to expand her pie-in-a-jar product nationally with the training she’ll receive in the program.