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Pono The Corn King, Pie Lady & Son: It’s Rye Market Time Sunday

Come to Rye's Down to Earth Farmers Market this Sunday, August 18th for a free ear of
roasted summer corn.

That's right… free corn! Say it ain't so…

From 10am-noon, Pono the Corn
King will make his annual appearance in Rye. He'll arrive with his
custom-made barrel roaster, eager to cook fresh, local corn to
perfection.

But wait, there's more… While enjoying the corn, everyone is also invited to a free
cup of lemonade.

Could there be any more food joy?…

Also this Sunday meet Rye's Down to Earth Farmers Market new vendor, Pie Lady & Son.

Here's the story of how they got their name:

In the early 1990s,
when Wil Tyler was a boy, his Mom, Deborah, started baking pies. She had
learned the art while studying in England and working in the college
kitchen. There she watched the lead baker, a woman who made huge batches
of all-butter pie crust and who "didn't even measure the water" in her
recipes. "People have such trepidation about pie crusts, yet this lady
was fearless. I didn't come back with a recipe, but I came home inspired
by her style — by her fearlessness," Deborah explains.

Years
later, when Deborah was a single mother with three kids all under age
10, this inspiration and her need for income led her to bake pies from
home. She advertised them with a sign on the road and conducted her
sales from the back porch. She also sold at a farmers market in Nyack
and got a big break when a customer, who was also a food writer for The
New York Times, celebrated her pies in print. She called her business
"The Nyack Pie Kitchen," but her customers nicknamed her, "The Pie
Lady."

Yet the boom in sales proved to be too much at the time.
Deborah had a household full of kids to manage, and no one to help guide
the business. So she closed up shop in 2001. Years later, Wil says, "I
always thought it was a shame that it had ended and I wanted to convince
her to try it again."

First he asked her to teach him how to
bake the pies. She did, but she wouldn't stick around the kitchen. Then
he asked her for her recipes. She shared them, but she wouldn't linger
over them. Then Wil started baking the pies himself and he got some
sales going at a local holiday craft fair. "A lot of people remembered
my Mom, and they'd say, 'Oh, The Pie Lady is back!', even though it was
really just me," says Wil.

For Thanksgiving in 2009, he got
orders for 30 pies. With no experience and a tiny oven, he begged his
mother to come help him. Wil was swamped. When she saw what was was
coming out of the kitchen, she said, "There's no way you're going to
sell these pies under my name!" And she came back.

The farmers market takes place every Sunday, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm, in the parking lot behind the Purchase Street stores.

  1. PONO the CORN KING? Who thought that was a good name?

    Reads like PORNO the Cone King.

    That being said, my Aunt Viola was a ribbon earning pie baker in Columbia County. I miss her pie crusts, although I’m sure she probably used lard.

    I will have to get to the market and see if a cherry pie is available.

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