Plethora of pumpkin choices at The Pie Place in the South Hills |
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JoAnne Klimovich Harrop

Pumpkin pastries will be prominent at the Pie Place.

The bakery located on the Bethel Park/Upper St. Clair border created 31 days of pumpkin treats. Day one started Monday with pumpkins located throughout the store to introduce the promotion. On Tuesday, the choice of the day was pumpkin tarts.

The daily choices continue with the likes of pumpkin scones, cake pops and cheesecake. Pumpkin pie will appropriately be the finale dish.

“The idea came when we were making a list of pumpkin ideas,” said Julie Accamando of Peters, who owns The Pie Place with Jess Gombar from Upper St. Clair.

“There were so many that we decided to do a month’s worth of a different choice per day starting on the first day of fall.”

That was Monday.

“People love pumpkin, because it’s not something you can get year round,” said Gombar, who was convinced by Accamando to leave a full-time marketing job for this business. “And it’s connected with fall, which is becoming everyone’s favorite new season.”

The co-owners and friends, who met through their husbands, Ray Gombar and Matt Accamando, use fresh ingredients and work with other locally-owned companies such as Betsy’s Ice Cream for the pumpkin cold treat and 19 Coffee and Aunt Anna’s Biscotti. Both learned to bake from their grandmothers.

They purchased the place 11 years ago.

On Monday, Gombar was making a few pumpkin cheesecakes topped with whipped cream, nutmeg and white chocolate.

“People are so busy these days so they will pay someone to make baked goods for them,” Accamando said.

They certainly understand busy schedules because they have seven children between them.

The bakery offers gluten conscious pumpkin pie, key lime pie and cookies. Their cake business is growing they said. Customers can create their own cake by choosing cake flavor, icing, filling and size.

Last year, they had 600 orders and made 1,000 pies for Thanksgiving.

They also have wholesale customers — Wholey’s Market in the Strip District and Shenot’s Farm & Market in Marshall Township. They’ve been part of pie bars or dessert bars at weddings.

They have a lot of regulars who they know by name. Among them are Kathy Dornenburg of Overbrook, who works next door at Highmark Direct.

“I love this bakery,” she said “They make the best blueberry pies and, if I come in and they don’t have any made, they will make one for me and then I will come back later and pick it up. They have really good cookies, too.”

Customers can follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

“When someone says, ‘that’s the best lemon pie I have ever had,’ it makes you feel really good,” said Julie Accamando, who has a degree in hotel and restaurant management. “That is a very satisfying part of this business.”

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