In Store: Pie Guy

One local baker will come right to your door

“Trying times call for comforting measures,” says Chris Porter, the baking businessman behind A La Mode Pies. Give him 24-hour notice and he’ll deliver one of his comforting creations straight to your door. “It’s not uncommon for the pie to arrive still warm,” he says.

In just a few months, Porter will open his first, yet undisclosed, retail location. Until then, his 12 pie varieties—which include Key Lime, Strawberry Rhubarb and Blue Hawaiian (pineapple, blueberry and fresh coconut)—are only available at a few local restaurants. And by delivery. Porter not only bakes the pies, he delivers them, too.

Porter grew up in a family that lived in the kitchen, and pie played a big role in quality time with his mom. Prior to starting A La Mode in 2009, he’d never worked as a pastry chef, but dissatisfaction with his corporate job had left him at a crossroads. He wanted to return to simpler times. He wanted to bring back pie. “There are few foods in life that transport you to that magical time before there were bills to pay and things to worry about,” he says, “when all you had to do was go play outside.”

While getting his business plans together, Porter wound up at a birthday party where he met the owners of Capitol Hill’s Knee High Stocking Company, who offered the use of their bar’s commercial kitchen during the day. “If you’re open to things coming into your life, it just kind of happens,” Porter says.

Today, he bakes about a dozen pies a day and insists that every one is something he’d present at a dinner party at his house. Many of the ingredients he uses are organic and locally sourced.

While Porter is a great proponent of pie, he still appreciates the other sweet things in life: “I have so much pie these days, I find myself craving cake!”

A la Mode Pies