A la Mode Pies, a pie delivery business currently located on Capitol Hill, is moving operations and opening its first café in Phinney Ridge. A la Mode Pies will be at 5821 Phinney Ave. N. in the space formerly occupied by Dolly’s Dollhouse, next to Hazel Salon & Organics and across the street from Woodland Park Playground.
A la Mode Pies hopes to open sometime in September.
Owner Chris Porter opened A la Mode Pies about two years ago. He currently cooks out of the Knee High Stocking Co. kitchen, which is a speakeasy-themed bar and restaurant on Capitol Hill.
“Business has just grown and grown and grown,” he said of the need for his own kitchen and to branch out from delivery only to a café. “We chose Phinney because, one, a large number of our customers are already in Phinney, and, two, it’s just such a charming neighborhood. The location itself is so sweet; it seemed like such an ideal place for our flagship store.”
Porter said he had family living in Phinney Ridge when he was young, and he’s well aware of the neighborhood’s affection for Dolly’s Dollhouse, which closed last year when owner Joyce Clifford passed away.
“We’re definitely going to have a little homage to Dolly’s inside,” he said. “And we’re definitely going to continue the relationship that that space has had to the neighborhood.”
Currently, A la Mode Pies delivers pies to your doorstep within 24 hours of placing an online order. He said the pies are baked the same day, and often arrive on customer’s doorsteps still warm. Delivery within Seattle is free; other destinations, such as Bellevue, have a $5 delivery fee. Customers can still order online but pick up from the new café to save on the delivery fee.
“We are not abandoning the delivery aspect, because that’s really what separates us from everyone else in town,” Porter said. “We’re the only pie shop that will deliver to your doorstep.”
A la Mode currently sells 12 kinds of pies, including Bourbon Butterscotch, Chocolate Caramel Pecan, French Apple, Lemon Macaroon, and Star-Spangled Sour Cherry. Most of A la Mode’s pies are made with locally organic ingredients. The new A la Mode Pies café will sell full pies or by the slice, espresso, and Bluebird ice cream.
“Families can wheel their strollers in and sit down at a table by the window, and we’ll have a counter. So you can have a cup of coffee and a piece of pie and take a respite,” he said.
Porter said he developed a love of cooking from watching his mother in the kitchen. After seven years as a television news reporter in Missoula, Montana, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, then a few years in public relations, he decided to go back to what he loved – cooking pies.
“And it’s just exploded since then and I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I think the beauty of pie is that it’s all about the filling. It’s all about a flaky crust and the filling. I think pie just offers something very unique. It takes us all back to our childhood. We all have memories of grandma making pies.”
Porter said A la Mode Pies does a big business in weddings, office and birthday parties. He said he’ll need to hire about five people for the new café.
“I hope that Phinney becomes a kind of destination for dessert.”