Street vendors have become ubiquitous here in the upper North State; we’ve got our share of taco trucks, hot dog vendors, fresh bread, and even Italian food. One vendor that is truly unique is Sweet Cottage, which sells delicious homemade pies made from scratch.
Visitors to the Saturday Farmers’ Market in Chico (305 Wall St., 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. rain or shine) will find Sweet Cottage owner Robin Rowe and her husband Alvin, selling a variety of pies and quiches out of the adorable red and yellow pie cart Alvin built. The cart truly does resemble a sweet little cottage or grandma’s house.
What stands out about the couple are the amazing smiles you see emanating from the little cart on wheels: An attractive, youthful-looking couple in their 40s, Robin’s grin is warm and open and Alvin smiles with his eyes.
The pair also works Chico’s Thursday Night Market during summer. In addition to the great taste and wholesome ingredients (including organic flour, organic sugar, and local organic fruit when available) what also makes the pies so popular with their customers are the personalities behind the pies. Robin’s favorite quotes include “Be as you wish to attract,” and “You are love.”
The Rowe family – including daughter Alli and son Kaiden – has been in the pie business for more than four years. Known by customers as the “Pie Lady,” Robin has fond childhood memories of baking pies with her mother.
A stay-at-home mom, Robin began putting more time and energy into something that she normally did for fun. Due to a family health crisis and the hit the family took during the economic downturn as landlords of several rentals, what began as a hobby became an important source of income. The couple eventually was forced out of real estate and put their passion into pies.
“Every time I would meditate, I would see visions of pie,” Robin says. The Rowes took a difficult time and turned it in to something delicious. “I love what I do,” Robin emphasizes. “I get to make things with my hands and am blessed with beautiful customers!”
Sweet Cottage sells pies both whole and by the slice, jams made with sweet organic fruit, loose fair trade organic teas, ice cold exotic teas, wild lemonades, and other desserts. Individual pie slices are $3.50; whole pies are $17, plus a $4 tin fee which is refundable upon return.
Pie flavors include Dutch Apple, Raspberry Apple, Marion Berry (the most popular and a two-time berry festival blue-ribbon winner), “Wild About Berries,” Strawberry Rhubarb, Peach, Blueberry Peach, Old-Fashioned Chocolate Fudge, Pumpkin, and Pecan.
Quiches include Portobello Mushroom & Artichoke Heart; Prosciutto, Swiss & Leek; Spinach Basil; and Sun-Dried Tomato and Pine Nut. Gluten-free items are also available.
What better way to make your holidays easier and more delicious than with Sweet Cottage pies and quiches? This time of year, it’s best to place requests in advance.
To order pies for your party, celebration, office meeting or just because, call (530) 513-2044 to pre-order. You can pick up your orders at the farmers market or choose from what’s available without a pre-order.
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