For years, Long I pie Owner Shauna Lott Harman sells great pies at her own bakery, farmers’ markets, beer pairing events and word of mouth, but the pandemic has put it all on hold. But despite the closure, Lott makes sure her love of baking is shared with anyone who wants to bask in it, even if she doesn’t currently bake so many pies. In particular, she shares a weekly online pastry course.

“I decided to do the Virtual Baking Club because I just thought people might need a little community and joy in the midst of this isolation; I know that has been my light during the week,” explains Harman, who launched the club in March. “My philosophy is that the pie is a way to sit around a table and build relationships, so why not teach people how to bake it so that they can make it with family and friends?”

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Carrot whoopies were made in honor of Easter.

Long I pie

Every Sunday, Harman hosts a free virtual baking class on Zoom, which includes instructions for making carrot pies, homemade Oreos, cookies, cornbread and more. So far, around 150 people have registered across the country. Some, she says, come in and out, while others join every week almost as a weekend ritual.

“We now have people from all over the country, entire families, and it has become an activity for some people who live far from their families,” says the baker, who plans to keep the classes free for the month of May and may then charge a small fee. after that. “To be isolated, this time brought a deeper community among the people, in a weird way. Before, I would never do a virtual Sunday baking club from my own kitchen with people across the country.”

Right now, that’s the main thing she’s doing in the kitchen since business at Long I Pie has mostly shut down. She saw postponed wedding orders and canceled events, and she lost a great source of income when the Pi Day festivities were closed on March 14.

Click to enlarge Harman sets up for his virtual pastry club.  - LONG I PIE

Harman sets up for his virtual pastry club.

Long I pie

“It doesn’t make sense for us to make unique pies right now because of the profit margin,” she says. “I just tried to focus on giving joy when I can by delivering extra baked goods from the Pastry Club on Sundays or thinking about how our business can improve over the course of time. this season.”

Instead of cooking, she worked in her full-time marketing management position at a non-profit organization. She is also in love and worried about her ten-month-old puppy, Nora Funshine, who had to undergo surgery last month. Otherwise, life is the same as for many people in stay-at-home mode. She plans a garden, attends virtual happy hours with friends and, like many others, tries not to go crazy.

Once the markets and businesses where she typically sells her baked goods reopen, Harman hopes to get involved in a bakery cooperative, which she tried to do a few years ago when she baked at Temple Bakery in RiNo. This business was unsuccessful, but she is in talks with other bakers and hopes to get something soon.

Click to enlarge Get ready for the Long I Pie Virtual Pastry Club.  - LONG I PIE

Get ready for the Long I Pie Virtual Pastry Club.

Long I pie

“My dream is to have a bakery cooperative, because I love pastry, that’s why I created the virtual pastry club,” she said, adding that before closing she had made bake sales with five to ten bakers in one space. . “Regardless in the future, I think the community will always be at the heart of everything for me.”

Until then, watch her live at 1 p.m. on Sunday and find out what she’s up to while following her to your own kitchen. To join, send an email to [email protected] or send a message to the store on the Long I Pie Facebook page to make the list and look forward to making some soft pretzels, cookies and pizza dough in the next few classes. While it’s not the same as getting one of Harman’s delicious Honey-Lavender and Bourbon-Chocolate-Pecan Pies, at least it’s a step in the right direction until that the baker can find a new standard.

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