By Matt de Simone
The 7th Annual Gauntlet Business Program and Competition finished up in May. Ginny Barkett of The Pie Shoppe in Fincastle won the competition’s Platinum Award prize.
In August of 2020, Barkett opened the shop. Residents were excited to enjoy the sweet and savory pies.
“The competition helped me define reachable goals and to focus on what exactly I want to accomplish with the business,” Barkett said in a recent interview. “It allowed me to define where I want to take the business.”
Barkett wants the delicious aroma of her pie shop to reach further into the Roanoke Valley. She wants to use some of her winnings to turn her shop into a manufacturing kitchen for a broader range of customers. Her experience in The Gauntlet gave her a better idea of how she would accomplish her goals.
“I wanted to be able to identify what I wanted to do with business—the wholesaling of pies in the Roanoke Valley,” Barkett continued. “I’m currently working within the parameters of the state and federal government for health licensing and certifications since I’m working with poultry.”
Barkett earned a total of $12,550 of cash ($3,250) and in-kind prizes, which include a Fox Radio feature, consultation sessions, cohort leadership training, a photo session, screen printing for marketing, a half-page ad in Valley Business Front, and more.
The Pie Shoppe recently began its upgrade period, transitioning from a commercial kitchen (for retail sales) to a manufacturing kitchen (allows the shop to move into a wholesale production facility). Barkett continues to work with inspectors to ensure the kitchen meets the state’s standards.
Barkett’s most popular pies consist of a savory vegetable chicken pie and the baked spinach and asiago chicken pie. The chocolate pecan pie and the shop’s peanut butter pie remain two more popular sweet pies.
Currently, Barkett is shopping for a freezer van that can transport their pies, and she hopes to continue clientele growth.
The Pie Shoppe is located at 1 East Main Street in Fincastle and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. For more information, visit The Pie Shoppe’s website at pieshoppefincastle.com.