Mary Ardapple is passionate, even philosophical, about pie. In fact, ask her a question about pie and then be prepared to ask her a follow-up question. Twenty minutes later. "I can't help myself," said Ardapple, the owner of Apple's Bakery in Peoria. "I love pie." And she also loves helping out a good cause. Ardapple donated last week’s proceeds from her bakery’s pies to the local Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Mary Ardapple is passionate, even philosophical, about pie. In fact, ask her a question about pie and then be prepared to ask her a follow-up question.
Twenty minutes later.
"I can't help myself," said Ardapple, the owner of Apple's Bakery in Peoria. "I love pie."
Friday was a good day to talk about pie, it being National Pie Day and all. Ardapple didn't disappoint.
"Pie is the language of unconditional love," she said. "People would feel better if they embrace the language of pie. When I think of pie, I think of Mom."
Mom, Alberta Ardapple, is the reason why Ardapple has taken up Pie Day as a cause. Proceeds from the sale of all pies last week - which culminated on Jan. 23, Pie Day 2009 - will go to the local Multiple Sclerosis Society. Alberta Ardapple has suffered from MS for more than 12 years, yet she still makes it to Apple's Bakery twice a week to fold boxes for her daughter. Her pay is a cup of soup, a slice of pie and coffee. She is 83.
Ardapple was selling Pie Day T-shirts that featured a photo of her mother and the caption "It's All About Mom."
Last year, she raised $900. Her goal this year was $1,000. Bakers produced 100 pies - cherry, apple (still the two top sellers), gooseberry, pumpkin, red raspberry, Key lime, lemon and many more - a day, all week.
Pie Day was created by the - what else? - American Pie Council in 1986. They say, "This day is a perfect opportunity to pass on the love and enjoyment of pie eating and pie making to future generations."
The fundraiser is beginning to catch on. Ardapple had two anonymous customers buy 10 pies each on one condition - that they be delivered to local food pantries.
"What a wonderful gesture," Ardapple said.
She's a proponent of pie therapy.
"I grew up with pie as a standard part of a meal, but for most now it's a specialty," Ardapple said. "Pie is a facilitator of the best conversations of a lifetime. It makes you slow down, share common food and engage the senses and engage with the people around you and enjoy the end of a meal."
Scott Hilyard can be reached at (309) 686-3244 or at email@example.com.