He’s sweet, and she’s savory—and in the food world, that’s a winning combination.
Will Moyer handles the baking and Maren Bell is in charge of the salads, sandwiches, and quiches for Pie Bird Bakery and Café, which just celebrated its official opening on Tuesday morning.
Together, they are the co-owners of the new restaurant, which evolved into a bakery and café because of how each cook complements each other.
“I feel like the areas that we’re good at fit really well together,” Bell said. “It just sort of became…”
“It just organically became a bakery,” Moyer finished.
Bell, who used to be a caterer, was contacted by the building owner when the restaurant space opened up, but without any restaurant experience, she knew that she would need Moyer to make the most of this opportunity, who she knew through her sister.
“Both of us had a love for cooking and talked a lot about it,” Bell said. “He was the first person I thought of when this came about because he just has a ton of experience, and he’s so knowledgeable.”
Unlike Bell, Moyer did have the food business background necessary to get this project off the ground. Moyer received his education at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and went on to work for editorial magazines like Fine Cooking and Saveur, as well as various restaurants, where his love for food and cooking was cemented.
“I’ve had a few moments when working at magazines [surrounded by] an editorial team … with these top food critics in the country where it’s like, ‘Wow, this is a really great field to be in,’” Moyer said. “I come in every day and cook seven recipes and try something new … I love the flexibility of it, of this field, and the creativity.”
Together, the two have worked to create a homey bakery, but it’s expanded into more of a family affair. Bell’s aunt is one of the owners of The Grey House Antiques, and she did all of the décor for the café, including building the rolling pin chandelier, and her husband and uncle built all the tables. Bell’s dad also did the artwork that covers the walls of the bakery from floor to ceiling.
When asked what his favorite thing was at the bakery, Moyer responded with, “The pie, duh!”
Customer Juantia Sieger said, “The first time I came and got a bagel with butter and cream cheese, a sesame seed bagel, and it was the biggest bagel I’d ever seen. It took several bites to get through half of it, and it was so fresh.”
John Bernal decided to try the breakfast burritos and loved the freshness of the salsa. For him, one of the best parts of Pie Bird was seeing how it had changed from the restaurant that had occupied this space previously.
“Well, we knew what was here before, and it didn’t have much seating,” Bernal said. “It was all a combined area, so now you got a little bit of separation from the front counter, and that’s nice. The décor’s real nice; they spiffed it up a lot.”
Seiger and Bernal work a block away, and appreciate the convenience of the bakery. Seiger said she could see the restaurant becoming a regular for her.
“The downtown area could use more breakfast places like this,” Bernal added.
After trying breakfast, I stopped in for lunch, in part because I felt I wasn’t doing the restaurant justice by not trying the pie. I decided on a rhubarb slice as an homage to my grandmother, who would make everything with rhubarb if she could.
After ordering, Moyer explained that yesterday he had made a strawberry and rhubarb pie which had sold quickly, and decided to make a solely rhubarb pie after customers recommended it.
“The pie, duh!” indeed.
Pie Bird Bakery and Cafe is located at 177 North Church Avenue and can be reached at 520-305-3325 or www.piebirdbakeryandcafe.com/