Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Feb 13th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Pie Guys

Dining_BeckmannsThe nation's best pumpkin pie is made right here in Santa Cruz

Now that it's pumpkin month, at 45 bay area farmers markets you can find Beckmann's Bakery's pumpkin pies, which are the best in the country.

Beckmann's, celebrating 25 years, sells its pies only at farmers markets, an operation run by Tony Stumbaugh and his boss Scott Adams. Stumbaugh was investigating ideas to increase sales and found the American Pie Council, an industry organization that aims to preserve America's pie heritage. Joining the organization, they headed to Florida and the National Pie Championships.

Transporting 20 frozen pies was the first challenge. "Everyone at the airport was looking at us funny," Stumbaugh said. "We had this giant thing packed super well with so much dry ice we were worried we were going to get arrested by Homeland Security."
Besides the contest and pie seminars was a pie festival in Celebration, Florida, a community developed by the Walt Disney Company, which featured a never-ending buffet of mass-produced desserts.

The scene was distinctly different three miles away in the ballroom of a posh hotel.
"At the resort, that's where the cream of the crop was," said Stumbaugh. "I was standing in this room where there were a thousand pies waiting to be judged. Being a pie freak I was salivating and overwhelmed all at the same time."

Beckmann's entered five flavors into the Commercial-Independent division for smaller bakeries.
"We were looking at some of the other pies that we were competing against," recalls Stumbaugh. "All the other people in the super-gourmet category have been coming year after year. Their pies were just gorgeous.

We looked like the kindergarten pie. We didn't have a lot of style. In order to compete on that scale we need to figure out the decorative front."
Stumbaugh found the Southern Hospitality welcoming and co-competitors supportive. They received accolades from their peers for placing first at their first event with the pumpkin pie, which Stumbaugh calls their prettiest; its top decorated with fancy dough leaves.

Next year, the team will bake their pies from scratch on-site to improve their chances in other categories, and not enter the locally loved olallieberry which was too foreign for the judges.

"It was very surreal this whole kind of pie culture," Stumbaugh said. "It's like finding your people, or your friends you didn't know you had."
By the end of the year Beckmann's will be shipping frozen pies from their soon-to-launch website.

Beckmann's Old World Bakery,
104 Bronson St # 6, Santa Cruz, 423-9242. Find Beckmann's pies at Live Oak, Felton and Scotts Valley farmers markets. ★★★

This fall Johnny's Harborside is selling Rodney Strong wines to benefit the Big Brothers and Big Sisters HeartMath Program. Special Thursday happy hours from 6 to 8 p.m. will be held on Oct. 4, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16 offering raffle tickets with Rodney Strong purchases.
On Nov. 11, the annual fall fundraising dinner will feature a six-course dinner with Rodney Strong wine pairings. Reservations are available now.

Johnny's Harborside, 493 Lake Ave., Santa Cruz, 479-3430. Visit johnnysharborside.com.

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by a guest, November 07, 2012
one pumpkin and one apple please.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster