Behind the Business: Mandala Pies

With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, food is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. And what dessert says Thanksgiving more than pie. But behind every pie is a story waiting to be told….

Caitlin LaComb had not just a broken heart, but also a broken view of the world. After serving in the Army and being deployed, where she had witnessed pain and sorrow, she returned to the States. Her belief system was in shambles and she felt that people no longer supported each other. This is where her story begins.

In June 2017 Caitlin decided to bake a pie for the first time to celebrate her husband and her fourth wedding anniversary. Unfortunately it did not turn out as expected and afterwards she was determined to create a pie that was good – one filled with organic wholesome ingredients. After a lot of trial and error, she created a recipe that not only was edible, but also was beyond delicious. So much so that Caitlin decided to start Mandala Pies – and little did she know that making pies would change every aspect of her life.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Pie

WHY MANDALA PIES?

Before Mandala Pies, Caitlin was in the Army. Ready to head to Costa Rica for graduate school, her plan changed a bit when she found out she was pregnant with her soon-to-be son, Branch. She retired from the military and was looking for a way to contribute to her family while being able to stay home with the baby. After creating an incredibly yummy Key Lime Pie, she realized she might be onto to something.

Caitlin was armed and ready to bring her pies to a Farmer’s Market and the King George Farmer’s Market turned out to be the right place. One week after being accepted into the market, she set up shop and started selling her pies. They were a hit and were selling out each Saturday. She started with the Key Lime – Floridian – pie and branched out from there into other enticing flavors.

At the same time Caitlin discovered how much she craved being a part of the community; and giving back through her pie making was the perfect platform to give.

For Caitlin “pie baking is a tool to make the community better.”

Her tagline is “Beautiful Pies for Beautiful People” and she is now discovering the “beauty when she didn’t believe beauty existed.”

Cranberry Bliss Pie

A TURN OF EVENTS

Recently Caitlin was a finalist and 2017 Winner of the Made in Fred Business Competition. Its mission is to “encourage entrepreneurs in the Fredericksburg Region to pursue their business ideas here in the community, and contribute toward an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the area.”

Winning the competition will help Caitlin expand her pie business with the hopes of selling her pies to restaurants, etc.

She felt successful in the competition because “I deliberately make the point to work and push myself each day. I work hard putting myself out there and creating relationships. And this was proof that we are moving in the right direction.”

At the end of the day Caitlin says, “People love a cozy handmade pie without all the work.
And pie is about sharing time with those you love the most.”

Bees Knees Pie

She has found the sense of community in the Fredericksburg area and that feeling keeps growing.

“Pie baking is my tool to make the community better.” – Caitlin, Mandala Pies

In the end Caitlin, wants to continue to have a strong passion for what she is doing, work hard, fund bigger goals, love what she is doing and be a part of the community.

PIE FLAVORS

From Mandala Pies –

Made from scratch. Made to order. Made with love.
“We strive to connect the consumer to agriculture by using organically grown ingredients, sourced locally when possible.”

Mandala Pies offers the following seasonal pies:

SUMMER MENU

“THE FLORIDIAN”
Our twist on a traditional key lime pie is a refreshing favorite made with freshly squeezed citrus, cage free eggs and organic sugar, baked into a hand-mashed honey graham crust. Seasonal favorite! $25

“RED BERRY MARBLE”
Enjoy a lemon pie (freshly squeezed citrus) baked into a hand-mashed honey graham crust, marbled with organic strawberry purée. $25

“PINK ZEBRA”
Enjoy a lemon pie (freshly squeezed citrus) filled with organic raspberries and topped with carefully drizzled dark chocolate. Baked into either a honey or chocolate graham crust. $25

“PURPLE RIPTIDE”
Enjoy a lemon pie (freshly squeezed citrus) baked into a hand-mashed honey graham crust, marbled with organic black raspberry purée. $25

“LATE SUMMER SUNRISE”
Experience an incredible sunrise after dinner with this peach + blackberry pie made with locally grown fruit, baked into a flakey wheat + butter crust. After baking, the pie’s colors resemble each pink, orange, and yellow hue found in your favorite sunrise. $28

“BANANA CLOUD”
An organic cream pie filled with layers of organic bananas, baked into a honey graham crust. Topped with freshly made whipped cream. $25

“TOASTED IN PARADISE”
An organic cream pie filled with toasted coconut flakes, baked into a honey graham crust. Topped with freshly made whipped cream and toasted coconut. $25

“BRIAR PATCH”
A mixture of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries filled to the max between a flakey wheat + butter crust bottom and lattice crust top. $28

 

AUTUMN MENU

“THE BEE’S KNEES”
A honey cream pie made with local honey and cage free eggs, baked into an organic apple cider vinegar crust. $28

“THE OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC”
Locally grown apples smothered in a bath of organic sugar, organic cinnamon, and organic ginger, baked in between two perfect, made-from-scratch cinnamon roll crusts. Seasonal favorite! $40

“GOATS AND GOURDS”
A stovetop pumpkin filling gently spiced with cayenne pepper poured into the creamiest crust made with goat cheese and butter. $30

“SOUTHERN BELLE”
Our take on a traditional pecan pie is baked within an organic apple cider vinegar crust. Enjoy layers of pecans and dark chocolate chips smothered by an organic agave syrup bath. $35

“GINGER SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE”
An organic pumpkin pie spiced with real ginger, complimented with an organic ginger snap crust. $28

“SWEETIE PIE”
The perfect mixture of locally grown and organically grown sweet potatoes (an entire pound per pie) baked into an organic apple cider vinegar crust. $25

“JACK SKELLINGTON”
An organic pumpkin pie spiced with real ginger, baked into an organic apple cider vinegar crust. $28

“CRANBERRY BLISS:
Enjoy this creamy curd pie made from organic whole cranberries and cage free eggs. Paired perfectly with its finely mashed organic ginger snap crust, this magenta beauty is a tart lovers’ dream. $33

“EGGNOG LOAF”
Nothing says ‘the holidays’ quite like the taste of eggnog. Our eggnog loaf is the first bread on our menu! Made with organic eggnog, each slice is moist and perfect to enjoy on a cold weather morning. $13

HOW TO ORDER

Fortunately for her business, Caitlin is no longer taking orders for Thanksgiving because they sold out, but if you want to order a pie or pies for the holiday season, you can contact her in the following ways:

Instagram: @mandalapies
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mandalapies
Email: mandalapies@gmail.com

Congratulations Caitlin and your family on creating a thriving business who not only wants to make a fabulous product but who wants to continue helping to make our community a better place to live!!!

All photos are courtesy of Mandala Pies.

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