Autumn isn’t complete without a warm, delicious pie on a chilly day. For Wanda Chaffain, owner of Hometown Pie Company, pie season is the best time of the year. In 2011, Chaffain started out selling baked goods at Farmer’s Markets. Nine years later, Chaffain narrowed down her specialty to pies and successfully sells them wholesale to grocery stores and restaurants.
“We don’t do very many baked pies anymore, what we focus on now is everything that comes out of here needs to be frozen. That’s where the Cambro GoBox® comes into play,” said Chaffain.
Hometown Pie Company transports their pies from their kitchen in New Strawn, Kansas, to their clients across the state and Missouri. Last summer, Chaffain started looking for an insulated transport unit to help keep the pies safe during transit.
“The bigger we got, I had to be able to stack the pies. I also needed to know how insulated [the GoBoxes] were—because the van gets kind of warm in the back—and if they were going to keep the pies frozen,” said Chaffain.
To test the GoBox, Chaffain put a bag of hash browns and an ice pack inside and put it in her van overnight.
“When I came back the next morning at 5am, I pulled the [GoBox] back out of the van and the hash browns were still frozen. Hash browns would typically very easily thaw,” said Chaffain.
Satisfied with the performance of her first GoBox, she purchased another 19 units.
“These things get loaded every week…and they are still brand new. I am way impressed with how well they have lasted,” said Chaffain. “They’re phenomenal for getting used every week.”
GoBoxes are made of high-quality expanded polypropylene material that keeps food at safe temperatures for at least four hours. Chaffain’s van typically leaves the kitchen at 7:30am and deliveries aren’t complete until around 2pm.
“I have never even come close to seeing a pie that’s thawed out. I even forgot about one [pie] one time. It was a little soft, but it had been in there from 8pm to 8am the next day,” said Chaffain.
Last year, Chaffain estimates they made 16,000 pies and cheesecakes last year. One of Hometown Pie Company’s biggest bursts of growth came after Chaffain was featured in Bravo’s reality series, Welcome to Waverly, in 2018.
[The show] caused a lot of food traffic in the pie shop. People wanted to see where the pies were made,” said Chaffain. “99 percent of what goes out the door is wholesale, but we do have special open-to-the-public times. One of our next biggest ones will be the day before Thanksgiving. People want to see the growth and the new equipment. We set the kitchen up so they can go and look at everything.”
Hometown Pie Company offers everyone’s favorite pies, like apple, pecan and pumpkin, in addition to their special jalapeno pies and a full line of cheesecakes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.