Our Story

Pie in the Sky has been “baking in the Hole’ since 1982 when a young couple, Manuel and Denise Dias, were on their European honeymoon and noticed that every town had a local bakery and cafe style coffee shop. Manny had grown up baking with his parents, who owned Jean’s Bakery in Teaticket, Mass. Upon their return stateside, Manny and Denise decided to continue in the family business & began looking for a location. There was a kite shop on Water St. in Woods Hole owned by local artist Jean Kanwisher that might be available. They leased the shop the next year and sold Kanwisher’s prints alongside fresh coffee & bakery treats. According to an interview with the Woods Hole Museum, “ they were trying to think of names for the shop and not getting anywhere until one day Mr. Dias had the radio blasting the Jimmy Cliff song, ‘The Harder They Come’..’Well they tell me of a pie up in the sky…’ “It was the perfect name and it still remains.”

After 20 years of tireless work to establish Pie, the Dias family was ready for a break…

General Manager, Erik Gura, bought Pie in the Sky from the Dias’ in 2002. Eight years earlier, he arrived in Woods Hole to work as a ship’s steward for the SEA education program and continued to explore a lifelong love of food. After 8 years as a tall ship’s cook, it was time to get off the boats. “I have been working in restaurants since I was 12, growing up in Newburyport & working at a local restaurant washing dishes, bussing tables. While in college at UMass Amherst,he worked for years at the Black Sheep Cafe & then he and a friend started a catering company. “I’m completely self taught. We served homemade, good quality food,using local raw ingredients & cooking for university staff, it was great fun!”

Erik’s purchase of Pie in the Sky was a risky venture, however working on a boat prepared him in some ways for this business.The small space, efficiency, people around all the time. “The place is going 24/7. At midnight we begin baking the pastries, at 6 we begin baking our breads-wheat, sourdough, rye. Then we roll into making the cookies, pies, bars, and quiches. It is a constant flow. There are always three or four people here. It is a puzzle of food, people, and time. It’s like producing a theatrical production.”

In 2017, Pie underwent a major renovation, basically rebuilding the entire cafe from the ground up. A basement was added with a large walk-in freezer and refrigerator, as well as a heated walkway and roof deck with a live camera feed of the ferry terminal. Pie roasts its own coffee beans in a Probat Roaster that lives in the dining room. All pastries, pies,quiche, and cookies are made by hand, from scratch with as many local ingredients as possible. Pie’s goal is for every person to walk in the door and find something that appeals to them.

In 2022, after 20 years as sole owner & operator, Erik sold the business to BT Brands Inc, a small, publicly traded company (NASDAQ:BTBD)… But, despite the transitions over the decades, it’s the same Pie with a 40+ year history of goodness intact. Now, thanks to BT Brands’ investment, Pie has well maintained, state of the art equipment and offers competitive benefits & wages to it’s crew, underpinning for future generations Pie’s staying power in the Woods Hole community.

Pie’s emphasis over the past 20+ years has been on building a team of like minded people who enjoy working hard while fostering a strong sense of camaraderie.Many of the crew have been with Pie for 5, 10, and even 20 years. We strive everyday for positive customer interactions and finding ways to give back to the Woods Hole Community. We take pride in our product and take care of each other as individuals. More than any other factor, the staff is what allows Pie continued success, without their unique contributions it would not continue to be the special place that it is today.

Meet the Team

Erik Gura - General Manager
Kristan Chalkley - Director of Operations
Tiara Ruggeri - Lead Baker
Chris Cronin - Head Chef
Gray Eldridge - Coffee Roaster