Richard and Laurel Williams opened Williams Pies and Country Store Bakery, 2613 Milwaukee Rd, Clarks Summit, about one year ago, but the business and tradition on which it's based traces back 66 years to 1946, when Roy and Anna Williams opened the Blue Bake Shop on North Main Avenue, West Scranton.
According to a history of the business provided by the current shop, Everything was made from scratch from the finest ingredients—the cakes, the cookies, the crème puffs and éclairs, the ‘Royanna' donuts and, of course, the pies.
Unlike other area bake shops, the history continued, the crust was made not from lard and powdered milk, but from whole milk, flour, butter and eggs. The filling came from real fruit and the custards and crèmes were home-made from an old family recipe.
In 1951, the business moved to West Market Street, and later to the corner of Blakely and Grove streets in Dunmore. It closed in 1988 when Roy and Anna Williams retired to spend time with their family, which totaled 11 children and more than100 grandchildren.
The treasured secret family pie recipe was passed down to the children, including Richard Williams, who later opened Williams Pies with his wife.
The business offers more than 50 varieties of pies, such as breakfast pie, pumpkin cheese pie, parfait pie, pudding pie, banana nut, peach crumb, butter pecan, coconut cream, lemon meringue and more.
We're all about pies, Richard Williams said.
In addition, the shop offers hard rolls, assorted bread trays, special Old World Milwaukee- style pizza, stromboli and soup and serves breakfasts and lunches made from scratch. The business features traditional homemade holiday treats, such as baklava, kalache, cinnamon raisin bread and more.
Williams pies sells wholesale to local supermarkets and restaurants, including: Riccardo's Market, Dunmore; Quinn's Market, Peckville; Don's Market, Clarks Summit; Gin's Tavern, Factoryville; Colonnade Catering, Scranton and Duffy's, Clarks Summit.
More information about the business can be found online at williamspies.com or by calling 570.586.6133.
The Williams' tips for baking success:
A pinch of this and a pinch of that. –Laurel Williams
Bake early, bake often. –Richard Williams