Gina Rose Herlihy had a longstanding dream: To make pies for the people of Providence. For years, the hectic schedule of working in the service industry had prevented her from making this notion a reality, but when she found herself furloughed due to COVID-19, the pause brought an unexpected opportunity. Herlihy reached out to her son Aiden and coworker Ashley Gorman, also out of work, to ask one simple question: “Why are we not baking pies right now?”
Aiden, who studied culinary arts at Johnson & Wales, was on board right away. After a few video meet-ups, Gorman, who had run the front-of-house at Duck & Bunny before joining Herlihy at Ogie’s Trailer Park, was down, too. “After two weeks of delivering test pies to friends,” Herlihy says, “we decided to just go for it.”
As with all things foodie during the peak of pandemic, PVD Pies took to the internet to show off their goods. They kicked off an online ordering model, posting new menus frequently and offering delivery within a close radius to their Pawtucket kitchen. Scrolling through the virtual display case of their Instagram feed, you’ll quickly see PVD Pies has far more to offer than the typical down-home delicacy of fruit pies (though there’s plenty of those, too), with savory pot pies, veggie tarts, and quiches stealing the spotlight. Herlihy says, “We love the opportunity to actually be able to test out ‘fantasy’ pies,” like inventive butternut squash hand-pie bites. Homemade puff pastry gives their heartier creations a delicate, flaky exterior, bringing chicken pot pies to a whole new level.
For now, their former employer, Daniel Becker, has graciously let them set up shop in the Duck & Bunny satellite kitchen in Hope Artiste Village, which is food safety certified. “We are looking forward to growing as a company in the future, but we are steadfast in our commitment to making sure each pie we bake is delicious,” says Herlihy.
Watch for new menus with seasonally tailored offerings popping up every few weeks on Instagram @PVDPies, and send your order via email for pickup Friday through Sunday. As Herlihy says, “I think every cook or chef loves to nurture,” and a take-home pie is as tender a gesture as any.