TAMPA, Fla. - One of the things you have to do when you start a business is you have to stick with it. For Mike Martin, he did just that and kept baking pies and finding ways to sell them. He was persistent, which allowed his business, “Mike’s Pies,” to continue thriving.
“Oh yeah, I’m not a quitter,” Martin told FOX 13. “Thank God for that.”
Maybe it’s the football player in him, but Martin said he hates to give up. He first launched his pie business inside a 700-square foot retail space in Tampa back in 1992. However, his mother said the origin of his business started before that – three generations to be exact. His grandmother made pies, and he, in turn, learned how to make them from his mother. It started a tradition.
The former football player truly got into the pie business because of his mother’s cherry pie. He got tired of waiting for her to make it.
“Single, 27-year-old living on the beach in Clearwater is making pies,” Martin explained. “I was making them for myself because I wanted to eat them whenever I wanted to.”
The first eight years after launching Mike’s Pies were tough. It was just a pie shop in South Tampa with four flavors: Cherry, apple, pecan and pumpkin.
“As I know now, pumpkin only sells in October, November and December,” Martin said. “You can't give it away any other time, but it was on the menu.”
There was no doubt that his pies were good. He just needed a way to sell them. Now, his pies are sold in 48 states and in the Caribbean. Much of it are restaurant sales with 60 flavors – with more to come.
There are retail locations where you can purchase Mike's Pies, and you may be eating them in your favorite restaurants and not even know it. He takes pride in having no preservatives or fillers.
"We cut no corners in pies," he said, "because there are no corners in pies."
LINK: For more information, head over to Mike's Pies' website.