Former engineer whisks up passion for pastry at Rideau Lakes’ The Pie Bar

Stacey, Scott and the five Blair children are pictured out their shop, The Pie Bar, located at 9277 County Road 42, between Newboro and Westport. – Submitted photo

An engineer-turned-baker Stacy Blair stumbled into the delicious world of pies quite accidentally, turning her maternity leave into a thriving business venture. The Pie Bar, born out of a newfound passion for baking, has become a local sensation, attracting pie enthusiasts from far and wide.

She, her husband Scott, and their five children, have opened The Pie Bar between Newboro and Westport on County Road 42.

Formerly a commuter navigating the bureaucratic maze in Gatineau, Stacy found herself at a crossroads during her third maternity leave. It was a chance pie-making lesson from her husband that sparked the culinary flame within her.

“Reluctantly, I put on the apron and fell in love with baking,” she said, bidding farewell to her engineering career and embracing the sweet world of small business.

The Pie Bar offers craft croissants, sourdough bread, cookies, cream-filled pastries, and holiday boxes filled with foodie bliss. The dessert pie menu boasts enticing flavours like honey lavender, chocolate bottom pecan, maple lime, caramelized apple butterscotch custard, and bananas foster cream. And for those on the go, convenient hand pies come in both sweet and savoury, featuring delights like pulled pork and cheesy potato empanada.

“COVID made my business. The timing was right,” she said. “Customers were driving over an hour to pick up pies. It was a low-risk activity they could enjoy.”

She acknowledged the unexpected boost the pandemic provided.

Stacy emphasized the empathy and collaboration among local business owners. Even during her maternity break, friends and family pitched in to keep The Pie Bar rolling.

The Blair family’s entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t stop with pies. Scott’s construction projects, Blair Brothers Maples (syrup products), and the kids’ handiwork all contribute to their success. In response to growing demand, Scott transformed an old drive shed into a commercial kitchen in 2020.

With a recent digital adoption grant and Starter Company Plus program support, Stacy has used social media to propel her brand to new heights. Minimalistic styling, captivating imagery, and a generous dose of humour in posts and videos have garnered thousands of views, with some hitting over 1.5 million on Instagram.

Visitors were welcomed to Blairs’ Maple Weekend in 2023, indulging in culinary delights, purchasing syrup, and picnicking on the hills. This year, The Pie Bar is set to host the first tap ceremony on March 2, complete with live music and an open bakery.

Looking ahead, Stacy said she dreams of turning her business into a rural destination. She envisions people visiting not just for the delectable products, but also to enjoy nature trails. While aware that engineering a thriving business requires patience and planning, she remains grateful for the essential ingredients in her recipe for success — the supportive community and the various grants received.

As The Pie Bar continues to rise, advance orders for the Valentine’s Day box are now being taken. Keep an eye on social media for freshly baked updates and new bakery hours. For those eager to savour a slice of The Pie Bar experience, pick-ups are available at 9277 County Road 42, and online orders can be made on the website.

Submitted photo

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