The HVADC Cultivator
HVADC Client Update:
HVADC has had its eye on Noble Pies for nearly a decade and congratulates the family run business for its growing success, having recently opened a thriving second storefront, and expanding their mail order operations. HVADC provided Noble Pies with preliminary Business Technical Assistance (BTA) in their early days, when they were moving from the end of their farm’s driveway to their now flagship location in Warwick, New York.
Noble Pies’ new location at 22 Purdy Ave, in Rye, New York, opened just before Thanksgiving last year and owner Leslie Noble says their sales and local reception has been incredible. Business has already exceeded that at their original location, she said.
Noble moved her family to Warwick 13 years ago after a successful career in pharmaceuticals. She and her husband, Tom Herman bought a horse farm and quickly started a riding and stable business that grew quickly until the great recession.
“The business was very affected by the crash in 2008,” Noble said. “We had three children in school, a big farm, everything fell apart so fast. The only thing I could think to do was bake.”
Noble was known socially for making great pies based upon her grandmother’s recipes so she drove around and put flyers in her neighbors mailboxes letting them know of her new endeavor. By the time she got back to the house, there were orders on the answering machine. They started delivering pies to mailboxes, until the post office informed them there were rules against such activity. Then Noble sold pies at the end of her driveway marked by their notorious “Turn Back for Pie” signs on the weekends, until the town told her there were rules for that kind of activity too, as they were slowing down traffic on the road running by.
While Noble’s initial anarchic approach to sales was endearing, one of the things HVADC’s stalwart business planning consultant Brian Zweig tried to help the family within those early days was formalizing their business plan.
“When we first interacted with HVADC we really didn’t know what we wanted to do,” Noble recalled. “Brian gave us a lot of good advice. It was really helpful to get an outside perspective.”
Soon a charitable landlord in Warwick set Noble up with a storefront for cheap and from there things really got cooking. They upgraded the storefront, opened a successful café, shipped pies, and even started selling through QVC a few years later. Fruit is still sourced from Hudson Valley farms, butter from the Catskills, and flour grown and milled in the Northeast.
“Right before COVID we sold chicken pot pies on QVC - working with a co-packer - and we sold out,” Noble said. “When COVID hit our business exploded. We had to shut down and regroup so we could figure out how to expand.”
Noble’s son Zachery had come to work with them full time and quickly expanded the brand’s presence in Westchester County, through multiple farmerss markets. It was the demand they saw there that encouraged them to build their second brick and mortar in Rye. A second QVC appearance followed, expanding the offering to include Noble’s meatball pie.
“Noble Pies is an inspiring business,” said Todd Erling, HVADC Executive Director. “Like so many farmers, market changes put them in a really tough spot. Not only did they pivot to a new business model but they worked extremely hard to insure it thrived. It’s been a pleasure to watch their ascension and enjoy their delicious pies!”
Noble Pies continues to grow. They now have 30 staff members and are considering a third store. Leslie Noble said they are looking at scheduling a third QVC appearance and looking for production facility that can handle the increased demand. Noble has come a long way from getting in trouble for putting pies in mailboxes, to getting the post office to deliver them for her.
To learn more about the BTA HVADC can provide to food businesses, visit: https://www.hvadc.org/iww.