Baldwin City — Most of the year you will find Mary Jane Chubb in a kitchen making pies.
It’s been that way for more than 20 years. She does leave the kitchen most days to enjoy her retired life. Unless it’s the holiday season, when she might be stuck in her kitchen for days.
“In the in-between time, I’ll make pies for people, usually for the holidays,” said Chubb, who is known as “The Pie Lady” here. “I do it for special occasions if I’m asked by people I know.”
For the 81-year-old Baldwin City resident, business picks up for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“You could say it’s something like that,” Chubb said.
This year alone, Chubb made more than 25 pies for Thanksgiving.
Added to that total are several pies she will make for her own family holiday dinner.
“I make as many as I can, but there comes a limit,” Chubb said. “You could go and go if you had the time.”
Plus, since fall 2006, she’s made pies for a local restaurant, Cordoba’s. On an average week, Chubb will deliver her pies to Cordoba’s three to four times a week.
“On an average, she brings around 60 pies a week,” said Jessica Cordoba, co-owner of the restaurant. “The majority of the pies we sell are because people know her or have heard of her. She is a huge asset to our business.”
Chubb has been cooking all her life. As she says, it’s something her parents thought everyone should be able to do. Her specialty was making pies from scratch.
Chubb and her sister, Charlene Potter, took their pies to the farmers’ market in Lawrence. After years of traveling to Lawrence, they decided to try the farmers’ market in Baldwin City.
“It keeps me out of trouble,” Chubb said. “It gives me something to do while I’m retired. I can do it or not feel it, depending on how busy I am at that time. It’s one of those things you can pick and choose what you want to do and how much you want to do.”
She makes her own crust and filling from fresh or fresh frozen fruit; no canned filling for her.
Her most popular order for Thanksgiving is chocolate pie, not the traditional pumpkin.
“It always amazes me how many people want chocolate pies,” Chubb said. “I guess it just kind of varies on what people like.
“A berry pie would be a favorite for me. Maybe a blueberry, blackberry or mixed berry. Something like that would be my personal favorite.”