Have you not heard it's "The Year of the Pie?" I read in a West Coast article online...
Stacia Samartan, co-owner of Frosted Cupcakery with shops in Long Beach and Hollywood, Calif., has been in the business for more than five years and has seen challengers come and go. "Almost every year, there's something popping up," Samartan told WalletPop. "People say, Oh! Macaroons! Macaroons are going to be the new cupcake." But Samartan said she doesn't feel threatened, or tempted to add pie (or macaroons) to her menus.
"We have stuck with the long time tradition of the kind of cupcakes you would make at home. I don't think the traditional cupcake will ever go out of fashion. It's a single serving, you don't have to feel bad about eating it. It's not like eating a whole pie."
Bottom line, Samartan says there's always room in the market for more dessert. In fact, she credits the healthy competition to yet another trend. "I think people are responding to specialty shops in general," said Samartan, "because you can do a really great job of one thing. And that's why we wouldn't want to add pie to the menu because we want to make the best cupcake you can find."
Samartan reports business has risen steadily over the past five years and just keeps "growing and growing." Although she admits an indulgence might come along to replace the monstrous, over-sized cupcakes, her faith in traditional cupcakes remains unshaken. As for an onslaught of pie vendors, Samartan says, "It sounds like fun." Perhaps a sweet translation for: Bring it on!
Susan Sarich's of SusieCakes, which has branches in San Francisco, Greenbraem, and Los Angeles, has always done a brisk business in cupcakes. But the popularity of the pie took even Susan by surprise. Though originally from Chicago, she states it's normal for her to want pies on a continual basis.
"I think what cupcakes did was they opened up the whole market. Now it's ingrained in our culture that a bakery is the place to go to get desserts. They've opened the gateway for other desserts."
"A lot of Brides are doing pie buffets or individual pies at each place setting, Sarich says, "especially for outdoor weddings in Napa and Sonoma. That's definitely a trend."
Stewart and Bocar's new cookbook has an overriding theme: 21st century pies are anchored by the ingredients. Canned pie filling will no longer cut it in 2011. People want the best-quality ingredients, from the butter to the local strawberries, for their pies. And the end product will reflect attention to detail.