Why did one of our supporters refer to this year’s Doylestown Arts Festival as the “Doylestown Pie Festival” when visiting our booth? Answer: Because Mildred and Edna White of M&E Edibles Cake DeZigns were selling their pies well, like hotcakes. It was truly a pie weekend. Interviewing Edna and her mom, Mildred, at the store, I had the opportunity to learn the story of how the market came to be the exclusive Doylestown seller of our Producer of the Month pies.
Edna begins, “I was selling at the Plumsteadville Grange Farm Market, and one of my customers said to me, ‘Go to the Doylestown Food Market because in the wintertime people don’t have a way of getting your pies.’” Store manager, Francine, joined the conversation: “I was looking for a small sized pie that was local since the day we opened. It took a year and a half until Edna came walking through the door with samples. The day she walked in I placed an order.”
And now with the winter season upon us, and the Grange closed until spring, M&E pies are available exclusively at the Doylestown Food Market. You can find the 5-inch deep dish seasonal pies every Thursday at the market, baked fresh the night before. Edna prides herself on how her pies are distinct from those found in large grocery stores: “My pies have no preservatives, and what you get from me is fresh baked. I tell people, ‘If its been a couple of days, make sure you put the pie in the fridge or freezer, and when it’s time to eat it, take it out and let it come to room temperature.’”
When asked how the baking business started Edna explained, “We would make dessert items for our church; everyone would say, ‘Oh, this is so good.’ Then people started calling with requests. So we started selling our baked products. It was just suppose to be supplemental income and now it’s my income.” Except that, as I quickly learned during the interview, M&E Edibles is not the only source of income for Edna.
“I have 4 businesses: a baking business; a jewelry business; I make hats; I make sweatshirt jackets; I make sweatshirt bags; I make some fake fur jackets with knitted cuffs and sleeves; and oh, I also do wedding and event planning.” Hmmm … sounds like more than four businesses to me. … When asked if she ever sleeps, Edna responded, “No, not unless mommie forces me to.” Edna lives her philosophy: if you want to do something, you find the time to do it.
When she’s not working one of her multiple businesses, Edna serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Hunger Nutrition Coalition of Bucks County. There’s currently an immediate focus on food pantries in the county. “Right now there is no state budget so the local pantries cannot order food. They’re depending on communities to bring them food because they have no budget and no money to use to order food.”
In addition, Edna volunteers at the Youth Detention Center with the girls. “My job is to find community service jobs for them to do. So for example, we make quilts for the women and children at A Women’s Place. I also find other things to do to teach them the concept of giving back.”
Edna proudly reflects her values in her businesses, volunteer work, and personal life: freedom, flexibility, creativity, community, people helping each other, and above all, taking care of and giving back to her mother. “My mother worked 3-4 jobs at any one time to help our family financially, and to help my brother go to school. My mother’s only wish is to live out her life in her own home, and I will do whatever I have to do to make sure it happens.”
And that brings us full circle back to the origins of M&E Edibles. Edna explains that the baking business began in her mother’s kitchen. “My training and education when I started was my mom. Everyone says that my mommie makes all her baked goods with love, and you can taste it and she’s the one who taught me how to bake.” And certainly, when you taste a deep dish M&E pie, you are tasting the love.
Remember to place your Thanksgiving special order for the 9” pies as soon as possible. Order forms are in the store. And remember, M&E pies are available only at the Doylestown Food Market.
Check out M&E Edibles Facebook page to learn more about the business: https://www.facebook.com/mandeedibles.
You will have two opportunities to meet Edna and Mildred, and sample their tasty creations: November 6, 5-7 pm, during our Fun First Friday festivities, and Saturday, November 21, 10:30-12:30, which is also the final opportunity to place your Thanksgiving pie order.