ASHLAND -- There are a lot of different pies in the world today. You have: American Pie, Pi day (3.1415…), “sugar pie honey bunch” and pie in the face, but have you ever heard of the holiday pie sale?
The holiday pie sale is in its 21st year and is brought to you by the students of the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center culinary program.
“It’s just a good experience because it’s more of a quantity mass production so it’s good for them to see how that works,” teacher Kathy Diedrich said. “They do pricing, help with the ordering, so it’s just a nice project for them to do so that they can get a nice feel for businesses work.”
The goal of this pie sale is to raise money for the student’s SkillsUSA fund which assists in paying for field trips, participation in competitions and other activities the students take part in throughout the school year.
The various pies being sold are pumpkin, dutch apple and custard pies for $8.00 while buckeye pies and pumpkin rolls are sold for $10.00.
This offer does not last long however, as the deadline for pie orders is noon on Nov. 14. To place an order call the school’s secretary at (419) 289-3313 (toll free 800-686-3313), extension 2233, during the school day or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everything about the pies are made from scratch; from the crust to the pie filling, all of it is made by the students and with no machine to do the work, the crusts are hand rolled as well.
While the culinary program teaches the students how to bake and cook within the kitchen, it also teaches them how to properly manage a business, a kitchen and also how to be sales-people.
For instance, with the pie sale, the students are solely responsible for selling the pies to family, friends and community members in order to raise money for their program.
“It’s marketing and sales also. Those soft skills are what we are finding out today that students nowadays are really struggling with,” Diedrich said.
Diedrich started the pie sale when she first arrived at the Career Center 21 years ago and said that it has really grown, but that it has also stayed steady. The number of pies the program has sold over the years has ranged from 175 to even 350 pie sales one year.
“It really depends on how much the students want to sell,” Diedrich said. “They’re the ones that can really bring in some good numbers.”
For the students this year, the number of pies they sell comes with a little incentive. For every ten pies that a student sells, they will receive one free pie of their choice.
To this point, junior Jade Glass has earned six free pies by already selling approximately 60 pies and pumpkin rolls.
“I want to own a bakery when I’m older so getting used to selling a bunch of pies, promoting them and knowing how things run in the kitchen is really beneficial,” Glass said.
The secret to Glass’s 60 pie sales: her family and teachers at her home high school of Hillsdale.
Glass is one of 14 juniors and seniors in the culinary program who work hard to make a fundraiser like this happen.
The pies can be picked up at the Career Center on Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. The Career Center is located at 1783 State Route 60, south of Ashland.