Working: How does a pie-baker work?

Meet the Baker Who Turned Her Hobby Into a Commercial Enterprise

Meet the Baker Who Turned Her Hobby Into a Commercial Enterprise

What do you do all day?
Feb. 16 2016 11:19 AM

The “How Does a Professional Pie-Baker Work?” Edition

Meet the actress-turned-baker who makes 400 pies a week.

Teeny Lamothe
Teeny Lamothe.

Photo illustration by Slate

Listen to this episode of Working with guest Teeny Lamothe:


Teeny Lamothe was a working actor in Chicago when she started baking pies for her friends. But as the pies multiplied, she started thinking about how she could turn baking into a side gig. Today she is the owner of Teeny Pies, a handmade pie company in Washington, D.C., that sells pies at farmers markets, local coffee shops, and maybe even to your CSA.

In this episode of Season 5 of Working, Slate’s Rachel E. Gross talks to Lamothe about what it takes to turn a hobby into a living. Lamothe takes us behind the scenes of D.C.’s farmers markets (where it turns out the bartering system is alive and well), tells us how her acting skills translate into pie sales, and explains why she’d have to move out of the city to open a brick-and-mortar shop. Plus, she breaks down what goes into creating a Thanksgiving pie, complete with sweet potatoes, cranberries, and stuffing. Sorry, actual pie not included.

In a Slate Plus extra, Lamothe demonstrates how to make the perfect pie from crust to finish. If you’re a member, enjoy bonus segments and interview transcripts from Working, plus other great podcast exclusives. Start your two-week free trial at

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Podcast production by Mickey Capper.

Rachel E. Gross is the science web editor at Smithsonian.