Owner Annika Corbin of I Like Pie believes that pies should be an individual experience from the very first bite.
“We are committed to the individual cake,” Annika said. “We are a destination brand where you can come with 10 friends and get whatever you want.”
Before becoming a bakery owner, Annika worked from home as an interior designer, while her husband, Rob, worked as a residential home builder. They had once lived in Claremont as part of Rob’s job relocation. After moving multiple times across the country, Rob was laid off in 2010. At the time, the couple were living in Maryland and decided to move to Claremont to try a different company.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur in my head and I always come up with ideas that are more challenging,” Annika said. “I love the idea of taking something and making it extraordinary.”
Annika’s first idea was to open a cupcake shop when dessert was at its peak in the early 2010s. When she realized there was another similar shop near the space she wanted to rent, a friend convinced her to open. a bakery.
“There were no cake innovations for thousands of years,” Annika said. “The answer was to create individual experiences with different cakes in a microwaveable box.”
Annika didn’t know how to bake cakes, so she enrolled at the American Institute of Baking in Kansas for two years to hone her craft. During this time, National Public Radio had heralded 2011 as “The Year of the Cake” as the next big thing in desserts. In 2012, Annika opened her first I Like Pie store in Claremont and the Pasadena store followed this month.
“Claremont has a lovely community and Pasadena is like a giant Claremont with walkability and a small business community feel,” said Annika. “We have seen a tremendous amount of support.”
Annika said the name I Like Pie was inspired by a combination of the Lindy Hop song “I Like Pie, I Like Cake” by R&B band The Four Clefs and the catchphrase “I like pie”.
“The phrase had returned to dialogue where middle-aged children used it to broadcast a conversation with their parents,” Annika said. “We liked a name that is a statement.”
To make the perfect cake, Annika shops with vendors who buy local and natural ingredients. One of the secrets of the pies is the formula of the crust.
“It’s magical,” Annika said. “It makes cakes better in every way because they stay tender and flavorful, not overpowered.”
I Like Pie offers whole 10-inch sweet pies ($49-$52), savory pies ($12.75-$13), mini pies ($3.50-$4), “handpies” that are sweet ($8.99) and savory ($11.50), and jam jar Pies ($8.50 to $8.99), which are muffin-shaped pies with crust around all sides, a filling, and whipped cream or garnish on top. There are also vegan and gluten-free options available depending on the flavor and size of the cake.
Annika claims that her business was the first to create the concept of the jelly cake.
“Each jam cake is a work of art,” Annika said. “We’ve taken the time to perfect it and we’re always changing it to make it even better.”
The patisserie has a rotating seasonal menu. Best sellers for fall include apple pie with tart apples mixed with cinnamon sugar and topped with a cinnamon shortbread crumble; Lemon Danish with creamy lemon curd, a sweet cream cheese center, and a shortbread crumble topping with drizzled frosting; Salted Caramel Banana Custard with bananas, vanilla custard, and salted caramel topped with whipped cream and salted toffee bits; s’mores with graham cracker crust, chocolate ganache, and chocolate custard topped with a chocolate square and toasted house-made marshmallows; and Traditional Pumpkin with Creamy Spiced Pumpkin on a traditional pie crust topped with whipped cream.
“We keep the apple, chocolate chip chess, cookie butter, mixed berry, and chicken pies year-round,” Annika said. “The savory ones (chicken pot pie, turkey gravy with harvest stuffing, and the spicy potato pie with vegetables) in Pasadena have been selling for double the price.”
Patrons can look forward to the winter selection of hot chocolate, lemon bar, lemon berry, mixed berry with blueberry and peppermint crust cream pies. In the spring, banana split, pineapple upside down, strawberry rhubarb, strawberry shortcake, and shepherd’s pies will be featured alongside a strawberry shortcake. Summer will include lemon buttermilk, peach cobbler, and peach cobblers with cream along with a peach cobbler.
“We try to make each menu signify that you are in that season,” Annika said.
I Like Pie is also running a special where customers can get the 12th cake free when they buy 11 jelly jar cakes. There is also a loyalty program where customers can sign up and collect points to receive a free jelly cake.
“We’re going to have a Christmas variety with our special flavors and it comes with a ribbon and gift tag,” Annika said.
In the future, Annika envisions I Like Pie expanding throughout Southern California. She is also building a large space commissary in Upland for future baking classes.
“We want Los Angeles to be a central location and we are also looking at Orange County (for future bakeries),” Annika said.
I like the cake
WHERE: 38 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
HOURS: Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Christmas Eve from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., New Year’s Eve from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.