IT’S TWO WEEKS before Thanksgiving 2019, and Lauretta Jean’s Pie Bakery in Portland, Oregon, is in full swing. In addition to the brunch menu and baked goods on offer, the staff is busy preparing more than 1,000 pies for the upcoming holiday. Owner Kate McMillen levels with me: “It’s just, like, supernuts right now.”
In the kitchen, there’s a frenzied assembly line. “Someone’s mixing, someone’s wrapping [dough], someone’s rolling,” she says. The walk-in freezer is stacked with hundreds of crimped doughs in Pyrex pie plates, and a rented refrigerated truck behind the bakery is ready to accommodate the overflow.