Karina Miller saw a hole in Revelstoke and decided to fill it. With pies.
“I knew I had to get on it right away or someone else would,” said Miller.
So, she created the Pretty Baked Pie Co. which has operated for over a year. Miller started at the market and by special order. She now also sells them at Rumpus Beer Company. Miller used to also be a pastry chef at La Baguette.
Growing up, she would watch food shows with her mom, who has multiple sclerosis. They’d watch Food Frenzy and Rachael Ray.
After watching television, her mom would take a nap. While she slept, Miller would experiment in the kitchen, concocting things like banana soup. She’d even put a sticky note in that said ‘Good Morning.’
“The soup was horrendous,” Miller said.
|Making a pie is a process. (Photo by Paul Wilanowski)|
Still, she started to cook more and more, wanting to improve the food in her life. With her business, Miller decided to focus on meat pies as it combines cooking and baking. However, there are times when Miller wishes she kept it simple.
“Why couldn’t I just have made cookies?” she asks, shaking her head.
It’s far more difficult getting food permits for meat pies than for cookies as there is a higher risk for contamination. The permitting process itself took more than one year. The first time she called Interior Health a scary lady answered.
“Do you have any idea how risky it is to make meat pies?” she demanded.
Miller decided to call back later.
Due to a lack of commercial kitchen space in Revelstoke, Miller makes her pies at Zalas. She bakes them in stages. One day she will make the filling, then the pastry and finally assemble and label. Some of her flavours include jalapeno chicken popper, veggie samosa, tourtière and classic beef.
“She doesn’t hold back on her flavours. She’s bold,” said Justine Atwood, who became a pastry chef at La Baguette after Miller left.
“It’s hard to be an entrepreneur, especially as a woman. But she just went for it and is kicking ass.”
Before her business, Miller said she didn’t make pies often. She invented her own pastry recipe. First, she tried one with tried butter, another with milk and eventually settled on vegetable shortening.
“There’s a science to it,” said Miller.
Although she is not certain where pies will take her, Miller said she wants to continue making food for life. It even spills over into her free time. When she’s visiting family, such as her grandfather in Florida, she makes sure his freezer is well stocked.
“Even when it’s hard to keep the pastry cold in such a hot climate.”
This article was part of our women of inspiration series featuring inspiring women in Revelstoke for International Women’s Day on Mar. 6