Some of the best recipes are passed down through families. Sharing the delicious results of those recipes with others is a true gift.
“Every family has a signature thing they usually make,” says Brentwood native Chad Collier, co-owner of Papa C Pies with his father, Gary. “My dad was the oldest of five boys, and apple pies were my Grandma Elsie’s thing.”
When they wanted to replicate her pie, they discovered she didn’t have a written recipe. “We had to wait for her to come visit at Christmas and then watch what she was doing and measure everything out,” he says.
They began to share these pies with family and friends; the pies were so popular that they decided to sell them to others. After working in various commercial kitchens over the years and selling at farmer’s markets and festivals, they opened Papa C Pies in Brentwood in 2016.
Today, the bakery offers a great variety of pies. Many, especially the fruit pies, follow the recipes of Grandma Elsie and are called Legacy Pies. The popularity and availability of their fruit pies mainly follow the seasons. “We do fresh strawberry pie only in May and June, blueberry in June, and peach in July,” says Chad.
The bakery's cream pies include key lime, coconut and lemon ice box. There are pumpkin and Southern pecan pies, sweet potato pies, Reese’s peanut butter pies, decadent Ghirardelli chocolate pies and many more delicious and unforgettable choices.
The ingredients that go into the pies are always carefully chosen. “We use unbleached whole-wheat flour and real butter,” Chad assures. “Our pecans mainly come from Georgia, which is known for its pecans and nuts. We like to get our peaches from Georgia, too, as well as from Alabama, since they grow some of the best. We import rhubarb from Michigan and Ohio; we're one of the few bakeries in Nashville that actually make a rhubarb pie.”
Many of the bakery's apples come from Washington, and blueberries, blackberries and cherries come out of Michigan.
Pies also come in a variety of sizes. There’s a 4-inch single tart, a medium 6-inch pie, a deep dish 9-inch and an 11-inch, which weighs almost 5 pounds.
Papa C Pies also can be found in some local restaurants, as well as Sperry’s Mercantile in Belle Meade. They’re available for delivery in the local area and by mail across the country.