The Pie Hole is the kind of local business that feels as if you have found the center of your childhood and you’re seeing it from all directions. It’s the kind of local business that small towns dream of, with its light, airy atmosphere and perfect details down to its beautiful wooden front door. Like in all the best childhood dreams, there is a counter filled with desserts, all of them made with loving care with natural and nutritional ingredients.
Colleen Hall is a mother of six, married, and a woman who is endlessly dedicated to her craft. With a pastime in baking and milling her own flour, Colleen worked in the medical field as a radiation therapist. She became obsessed with the idea of selling her pies and finding a way to enhance and restore the natural fibers and vitamins of flour to, as she says, “the way God intended it.” The discovery of her method of pie-making came from a self-described “health journey,” a journey that took years to perfect. Colleen's business started in a very interesting way: within the weekend market circuit here in Augusta. “It was like one of those lightbulb moments in life,” Hall explains. After visiting a friend and their pie shop in Atlanta, she realized that there just wasn’t a pie shop here in the Augusta area...and that it needed one. Her passion in making dessert seemed to follow her wherever she found herself, and she would bring pies everywhere, including her job and family functions. She did this so regularly that if she didn’t bring any pies along with her, the company would be disappointed. Her workweek, along with her position as a radiation therapist, became hectic. “I would work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and grocery shop all day Thursday.” To her, Fridays became the days (that grew into nights) of baking her goods until the early hours of the morning. She would then get up at 6 am to sell them at the local markets. “I was already a busy person before I started. Several times throughout the process, I was like ‘Okay, I need to stop doing this,’ but I never could. I never could quit baking pies.” And so, instead of quitting her passion, she left the medical field to focus on cultivating her business. For the past two years, Hall and her family have run The Pie Hole in the heart of Augusta.
The key to Hall’s desserts is a simple one: use natural and healthy ingredients. For starters, she mills her flour in-house, buying the wheat berries herself. “I kind of laugh when people walk into the shop and ask, ‘Is this homemade?’” She jokes, “Only if you consider making my own flour homemade! It’s an extra step and expense for sure…but you’re actually getting it the way God created it.” The flour that Hall produces is rich with the essential nutrients that have been sifted out in most commercially used flour. Hall has since called the bread made from this flour “true bread,” always striving for the best possible product that she can produce.
The Pie Hole also works to keep things local - everything from their ingredients, to the coffee they serve, to the miscellaneous items they select to sell are chosen from local companies. And much like her commitment to support other local businesses, Hall runs a tightly connected shop, working with family. Her son, Chris Hall, does much of the food photography and handles most of their social media. The Pie Hole is the perfect warm, small-town bakery and dessert shop that we can enjoy right here in our city. Much like her care to perfect a more wholesome sweet, Colleen's care for her customers permeates her shop and her products, and it's evident in every bite. So settle in and enjoy a slice.