Friday, May 14, 2021
Piedaho Gets Creative During the Pandemic
Rebecca Bloom decorates her pies with edible leaves and flowers.
Friday, March 5, 2021


Rebecca Bloom was on a high after Oprah included her Piedaho pies on her list of Favorite Things for Christmas.

But then the coronavirus pandemic hit and the Hailey pie lady found herself, like so many others, wondering how her business could weather a pandemic that put the damper on social gatherings that naturally called for pie.

“When the pandemic hit, I was recovering from a busy holiday season. I was lucky in that I had already started shipping pies in vacuum-sealed pouches to people’s homes when the pandemic happened,” said Bloom, who studied at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier in Paris and worked at top kitchens in Los Angeles before starting Piedaho in Hailey.

Rebecca Bloom gets fresh fruit from vendors at the Wood River Farmers Market, Waterwheel Gardens in Emmett and Tubbs Berry Farm in Twin Falls.

Bloom set about focusing on how to grow her business, how to thrive when still in the middle of a pandemic.

It wasn’t easy. There were a couple months when she couldn’t have anybody helping in the kitchen, which was “a little insane,” she said. There were many months when she and her husband had to school their two children while schools went online.

“It was rough schooling the kids and working, too. Luckily, my parent live here. So, they would take them some days. My husband would go to work some days while I stayed home. Then I’d work while he stayed home. And we usually made the kids do their schoolwork while we were baking.”

Getting supplies became problematic as people across the nation hoarded flour and frozen and canned goods, along with toilet paper.

“There were weeks where I couldn’t get things,” Bloom said. “I had trouble getting pie tins and containers to ship pies in. Flour was difficult to get and very much more expensive as a result of the pandemic. I had to get creative and use different flour than Bob’s Red Mill and Wheat Montana flour we use. Other people may not have noticed the difference, but we notice because we make a hundred pies a week. And I even had trouble getting fruit and other topping items to put in the pies.”

Come summer the Wood Rivers Farmers Market did a little less business because it was a little less crowded with people not wanting to be around others.

But Bloom made up for that by taking her pies to Ketchum Kitchens and a whole food market in Jackson Hole, Wyo. And she introduced herself to the second home owners and pandemic refugees who crowded into Sun Valley to escape the pandemic elsewhere.

She forged online partnerships with such businesses as Goldbelly, an online delivery service for gourmet foods and food gifts. She forged cross-promoting partnerships with such brands as Just Date, which makes a low-glycemic index sweetener from organic California dates.

And she forged a partnership with National Pi Day, which is held on March 14—Albert Einstein’s birthday. The holiday, in math lovers’ minds, has become a favorite time for number lovers to raise a piece of pie to Pi, in addition to participating in Pi Parades and Pi challenges.

For this year’s Pie Day, she is making Salted Caramel Apple Pie, Blackberry Apple Pie with Thyme Crust, Cherry Honey Pie and Pineapple Coconut Streusel Pie.

The pandemic has allowed her time to create some new flavors for her handmade pies, including Whiskey Peach Crumble, Ginger Pear and Apple Raspberry. Over Valentine’s Day Bloom created some special pies like Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Strawberry.

She’s also created a Pie Club for those who like a gastronomic adventure. Pie Club members can choose to receive a pie a month—pies that are not available to the general public. Or, they can opt for seasonal or twice-per-year pie surprises.

January’s pie was a Candy Apple Pie; March will be a Blackberry Orange with orange zest in the pie and crust.

 Bloom says she’s managed to double her business every year.

“And we’re on track despite the pandemic—at least, we think so,” she said. “We really have to thank people for supporting us during crazy months.”

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