Fried Pie Lady loves home business

Susan Reynolds of Reynolds Farm in Loudon, Tennessee says people in town might not recognize her name but if you say “the fried pie lady” they know her.

Her business, which started out 7 years ago (when she retired) with fruit pies sold at a local farmer’s market, is now a thriving business that keeps her, her husband, and daughter Kelli busy cooking year-round on their 6 acre farm.

“We started out in the beginning just selling fried pies at the Loudon farmer’s market every Thursday,” Susan Reynolds told Celebrate Knoxville. “I started making other things, and that’s when we found out that I needed to have some licenses.”

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Susan Reynolds travelled to Nashville to take the course required to obtain a domestic kitchen license, and later obtained a food manufacturer’s license from the state of Tennessee. Standards are more strict for things like black bean salsa than they are for things like her homemade breads and cookies. Photo by Laura Long.

Editor’s Note: In Tennessee, environmental health specialists inspect every establishment where food and beverages are prepared and served at least twice a year or more often as deemed necessary to ensure compliance with the Tennessee Food Safety Act.  Current food permits and the most recent inspection report must be displayed in a prominent location for the public to view. For more information, contact the Small Business Advocate in the Office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury at smallbusiness.advocate@cot.tn.gov.

“We had to be approved by the FDA for our salsa and pickles for food safety reasons,” Reynolds said. “As I said, I went to Nashville for my domestic kitchen license but I think there are some tests that can be taken online now for small in-home food business licenses. We get inspected every year.”

Reynolds says her recipes, especially the one for her fried pie pastries, are secret and she doesn’t share them but she will tell customers if there is an ingredient in any product that may cause problems for persons with allergies.

“Kelli does a lot of the baking now and we go through the cookbooks I have to find new recipes we want to try,” Reynolds said. “We like to make blueberry and banana breads, cookies, cannoli, sourdough breads, and pull-apart cinnamon breads. We also take custom orders if someone wants a particular kind of bread.”

Reynolds says the most gratifying part of her business is getting out and meeting customers face-to-face, something that sets her apart from businesses that just sell online.

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Kelli Davidson of Reynolds Farm shows off some of her delicious baked goods at the Sevierville Holiday Market in downtown Sevierville. The family works year-round on their home business and travels to several farmer’s markets in East Tennessee throughout the year. Photo by Laura Long.

“This is our fourth year attending the Market Square Farmer’s Market and we really have enjoyed it,” Reynolds said. “This Saturday will be our last for Market Square but we will start back up again with the first indoor farmer’s market in January at Central United Methodist Church in North Knoxville. We’ll be there every second Saturday until the summer farmer’s market begins in May. So for us, this business is really year-round now.”

Visit Reynolds Farm on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Reynolds-Farm-600704700008014/