Julie Foppes started baking at a young age. “Back in the ‘70s, the women where I was from were stay-at-home mothers. My mom always cooked and baked. My grandmother too. I was always very interested in helping in the kitchen and being a part of making things.”
When Julie and her husband Brian moved to the Hudson Valley from the suburbs of Syracuse three years ago, they “just wanted a change.” She recalls, “We saw what a beautiful area this was with the mountains. We’ve always lived in the same place, same area, same everything. Now we have a view of Mohonk out the back and the Catskills out the front.”
|Julie Foppes. Photo by Marie Doyon.|
Julie had no plans of going into the pie business. “I come from a Methodist Church, and everyone knew how to make pies. You know really make them from scratch—take out the mixing bowl, roll out the crust…. When I got here I saw so many little businesses that people just started up and running that I said ‘What the heck? Why not?’ I didn’t really see homemade pies around here. They’re called home baked, but they’re not from scratch with homemade pie crust. When you taste a real homemade pie, it’s a different thing.”
She worked for a bit in the Rondout Central School District, while a commercial kitchen was being built in her house. Now she is fully in business with 3 ovens, which can bake up to 25 pies at a time.
Julie doesn’t just enjoy the view from her house, she has fully embraced the bounty of the Hudson Valley. “My husband picks for me. In the summer we use fresh fruit, and I also freeze.” Peaches she gets from New Paltz, berries and pumpkins from Kelder’s (across the street), dairy from Ronnybrook or Hudson Valley Fresh, chocolate from Oliver Kita. For apples she always goes to John Wightman. “He has culinary apples, lots of varieties, which are great for pie. He also stores his apples in a walk-in fridge and he has them usually all winter. I can get my apples for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and usually further.”
Aside from the wholesome ingredients, these pies are definitely baked with love, that fabled secret ingredient. Julie says emphatically, “It’s not work to me. Just fun. If it was work I wouldn’t want to do it. I enjoy it and I love making people happy with my baked goods. People are so pleased that they’re good and homemade, from scratch, nothing processed or canned.”
When asked what sets her pies apart, Julie answers confidently, “I think I have the best crust. And I use the freshest berries. Oh, and I don’t jip you. My pies are big.” No joke—they are 10 inches and weigh between 50 and 55 ounces each! Her combos are unique and delicious—raspberry apple, blueberry peach, just to name a few. Plus if you’ve ever had one of her cream pies, you’ll never want to go anywhere else again.
You can call Julie any day of the week to order a pie or cheesecake, and she’ll have it made by noon the next day—and she’ll deliver it for free, to boot! (You could say, it’s easy as pie.) She also sells at Kelder’s Farm Stand from June through October. This time of year she’s also busy baking away for weddings and events. “I LOVE doing weddings. It is just so much fun to see so much joy. It is so wonderful to be a part of someone’s wedding.”
If you missed her at the Jennie Bell Pie Festival, it’s never too late to call…