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Baked Goods

The Pie Shack

Posted by Emily Thomas / Posted on May 29, 2009

Pie Shack"Listen, I'm a pie man," says Tim McConvey, owner of the new Pie Shack in the Beaches. "Me with no pie is like an Esso with no gas." He looks at my friends and me with an expression bordering hysterical excitement and deep regret. There is no meat pie for us to try today at Pie Shack (regretfully), because less than a week after opening, the staff cannot keep up with insatiable customer demand (exciting, especially for a man pushing pie). "I have had to quadruple my order and it is still not enough!"
Pie ShackTim is ordering from Erez and Keren Hadad, the husband and wife team gracing his shop with their pie making skills. They are "perfectionists," Tim reveals, citing the day last week when there was no rhubarb pie because Erez "went to the market and didn't like the looks of the rhubarb." This is the kind of story I like to hear. As disappointed as I was about the lack of savouries - the steak, mushroom and ale or the pork and caramelized onion pies - I scope out the sweet selection (apricot, pear, and peach the day that we went) and feel certain I'm in the good hands of some discerning bakers.
Pie ShackMy people take a seat at one of the unfinished wood tables with three coffees (from Dark City) and a pot of earl grey tea for the caffeine adverse (bless ya, Johnnie, and your sensitive stomach). I take up the menu/info book and peruse the "fun facts" on the back of it - pie related statistics, like eighty-nine percent of Canadians have eaten pie in bed, and three in five people have eaten an entire pie by themselves. "Hm," I say, and "interesting." The pie man notices what I'm up to.
"Do you ever watch Letterman?" he asks. "He does this thing where he makes up stupid statistics. I was watching the show one night and I thought, 'I could do that!'" "Oh," I say, mildly disappointed. "So all of these are made up?" Tim beams. "One hundred percent."
Pie ShackThe pie arrives at our table. We're offered vanilla ice cream on the side, and told to help ourselves to more coffee... because the refills are free! (I feel my life significantly improve at the mention of free refills, not just because I can have another cup today, but also because I suspect that this is becoming a trend all over the city.)
Pie ShackEach of our slices (we've ordered at least one each of apricot, peach and pear) contain fresh, gigantic pieces of fruit. And the crust is something else. It is amazingly flakey and light, fresh and buttery. "I usually don't like pie crust," quips Alyssa (that's right - she came along too). "But I like this."

And be sure it's sitting well in Johnnie's sensitive stomach.
Pie ShackThe other half of Tim McConvey's team is Daniel James, and his energy somehow matches the pie man's. "I forced my way in here," he tells me of their partnership. "I knew this place was going to be big." The two of them tell me about their future plans: late nights in the summer (they're already open until midnight on some nights), an antique bike for deliveries (which Daniel has already dubbed "the slicer") and a liquor license (so they can make "pie-tinis"). Most notably, the pair have made plans to construct a mini pie shack (a dog house) out on the sidewalk, for a dog named Campbell who hangs out in the back alley. (And in this establishment, doggie bags go by the name "Campbell bags.")
Pie ShackWe say our goodbyes and make promises to return for some savouries. The supply logistics will be worked out by then, we're promised. On the way out, Alyssa notices a fishing lure hanging from a shelf in the display case. She snaps some photos of it. "You like that?" says Tim. "I brought it here from home." He points out some photographs on the wall, the (communal) ipod dock, and the antique pie safe (where people used to put their pies, to keep them safe). "Everything here is from home. My place is completely empty right now."

Dude, that's one hundred percent commitment. Good luck to you (as if you need it).Pie ShackPie ShackPie ShackPie ShackPie ShackPie ShackPie Shack

Photos by Alyssa Bistonath



Kate / May 29, 2009 at 09:56 am
Can hardly wait to visit! I wish them great success.
Kiki / May 29, 2009 at 10:33 am
Can I just tell you how much I love this sign! I think it is great, in this age of cheap and ugly signage, that they put so much thought into just makes me want to come in even more!

I can't wait to go in and try them out...I have been walking by daily and keep saying I am going to go in and try them...especially now that I know they meat pies, as well as desert pies!
Kiki / May 29, 2009 at 10:34 am
oups that dessert pies!
Oranjette5 / May 29, 2009 at 12:09 pm
They should open a satellite location in Leslieville!
Neville / May 29, 2009 at 01:33 pm
Hrs of operation? There's a pie maniac in my family who will be ecstatic if the goods live up to the review. Bonus -- we live not too far away...
Jason / May 30, 2009 at 12:32 am
I was in today and they just got free wi-fi hooked up. They were also working on a temporary website and it's up and running with all the hours of operation and whatnot.
Natasha / June 4, 2009 at 02:36 am
LOVE LOVE LOVE this place.
Just what we need in The Beach. I recommend the sandwiches and salads as well, the grilled veg and the chicken mango sandwiches are to die for. Great food and great people!
Gailzee / June 22, 2009 at 09:58 pm
Was really looking forward to having my $25 pie that we had taken for dessert to someone's house...and what a disappointment to find canned peaches...can't understand why they couldn't use real peaches...they are definately in the stores...and $25 is certainly expensive enough to cover the cost...will say tho...the crust was delicious...was so hoping the experience would have been a good one...
Jason replying to a comment from Gailzee / June 25, 2009 at 05:54 pm
I was just in and asked about this "canned peaches" issue and they laughed it off. All of the ingredients are fresh (peaches are from California until they are good here in Ontario). Apparently even the lemon pie takes a whole bag of hand squeezed lemons. It's the real deal at this shack!
Char / July 3, 2009 at 11:07 am
My husband and I visited the Pie Shack last night around 9:00pm. We were greeted with big hello's and warm smiles. The owner Tim is very personable and his dog Campbell is a sweet touch to the business.
I loved the decor and style of the place, very unique, and it suits the beach well.
Now onto the pies, I had a slice of their apple cinnamon and my husband had the peach pie with a scope of vanilla ice cream. My husband liked the peach pie, I thought the apple cinnamon was so-so. The apple cinnamon had slices of almonds in it which I didn't know before I ate it, didn't like the nuts in with the pie, thought the apples were a little dry, but I did love the pastry!
I think the Pie shack will do well, I did think the $4.50 a slice for a fruit pie was a little expensive, the prices have obviously gone up since they have opened. The price of a whole pie is $25.00, again a little steep in my opinion. The pies are not made there, which I did think was unfortunate, since the smell of pies cooking inside would have drawn more people inside in my opinion. The pies are baked off-site by two pastry chefs that I believe were trained @ The Cordon Bleu Cooking School.
I wish The Pie Shack the best of luck and hope they do well in the Beach.
Jill / July 5, 2009 at 01:53 pm
Very disappointing. I really wanted a slice of pie. I read the reviews, thought it sounded great.
The peach pie had one slice of peach in it. One. It was a fresh peach, but it was only a slice. The crust was great but I want fruit in my fruit pie.
Maybe the pie filling was a little off-centre, maybe the rest of the pie had fruit, but why serve a slice like that to a paying customer?
Erica / October 12, 2009 at 05:46 pm
I ordered an apple pie for Thanksgiving from the Pie Shack and myself and my guest thought it was delicious! Tim's shop was packed on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and yet he still delivered personalized service. He made sure I knew exactly how to serve it and walked around the counter to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving and shake my hand. I noticed him doing the same thing for each customer. I walked out of his pie shop beaming from ear to ear. I will most certainly be back there for more pie.
annette bering / November 9, 2009 at 10:51 am
I was delighted to visit Tim at his Pie Shack on a Sunday afternoon and have the wild mushroom quiche pie with tea.... It was wonderful to see Tim again after 6 years, have known this guy for over a decade from the Globe days and am thrilled that he has ventured forward and become an entrepreneur.. The place as full to capacity, the ambiance definitely beach, and most of all I am going back for more pie. Tim is a professional, a fabulous host with genuine warmth and honesty which is exactly as I remembered him to be. Thank you Tim, you put a smile on my face to experience your wonderful success.

An admirer from the old days. Annette
Marco / November 23, 2009 at 02:06 am
This is not pie! I would call this the Crust Shack because it's all crust and no filling. I will confirm the person above saying there is only one slice of peach in her pie. I didn't have the peach version but the version I had hardly any fruit in it as well. I am not saying what I ate tasted horrible it was just layers upon layers of crust. I really don't understand why people went nuts over this place because this is not pie by any standard and I certainly have no interest in eating a plate of layered crust with a garnish of fruit!
Bummed Beach Resident / November 23, 2009 at 09:05 am
I went by to buy a pie or two to take to someone's house for dessert, and I wanted to love the store, but $25 for a pie was just too steep in my mind.
Dee / November 25, 2009 at 09:49 pm
My wife and I have been going for pie, a pot of tea and a rousing game of scrabble since the summer. Tim is a lovely man who makes you feel welcome.Atmosphere is homey and comfortable. A great addition to the neighbourhood!
Andrea / January 9, 2010 at 09:29 pm
Judging from the previous comments, it seems like the pies are very "crusty" from this place, which is good for me because that's my favourite part of the pie. I couldn't care less about the filling having too much or too little fruit or whatever...the crust, on the other hand, has to be flaky, delicious and fresh. Too each his own, I guess. I definitely will be checking this place out!
Jeremy / January 11, 2010 at 10:39 pm
The Pie Shack was the best thing to come to the Beach in 2009. Tim's service is THE BEST and the pie is delicious!
jane / February 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm
I absolutely love Tim and I drop over every day and pick up a morning coffee from him. He makes a fresh pot for me, and if it isn't ready he brings it over to my store. He is all about making the experience of coming to his establishment a unique experience, where you feel, that your patronage is important to him. The As a fellow Beach retailer he makes us all look good! I would highly recommend that anyone visiting the beach drop by.
Michelle / March 3, 2010 at 11:08 am
The Pie Shack is amazing and Tim is awesome! So courteous and accommodating. So far I've had the raspberry pie and the bumbleberry pie -- the fresh fruit, flaky buttery crust, and even the a la mode... heaven in my mouth! Highly recommend :)
ILTPS / August 2, 2010 at 06:49 pm
I just moved to the beaches a few months ago and have been to the Pie Shack twice recently. Everything about this place is amazing- the pies, the cottagy decor and the extremely friendly service (by the owner Tim.) It is even cool how you pay after you have finished eating.

As for Tim, he is great. He wants to know your name and the second time I went in, he remembered who I was and remembered my name. On my first visit to pick up a pie, he walked me to the door and he held it open for me.

I have never really been a big fan of pies until I went to the Pie Shack. This place will no doubt be as strong a beach institution as Ed's. Places like these make the neighbourhood that much better.

It is interesting to read some of the negative reviews here! All I can say to those people is that this place is hopping busy! And there must be a reason for that!
Anne / August 31, 2010 at 09:44 pm
I went there today and the pies were amazing! I had strawberries and cream with ice cream. My friend had raspberry. I am definitely going back!
LB / September 12, 2010 at 06:21 pm
FYI they have new crust, and it's even better than what they had before. YUM!
Petula / December 9, 2010 at 02:49 pm
If you are having a group over Tim can give you half and half - I love going with half an apple pie and half a pecan pie when we are having people over.
BandC / February 4, 2011 at 02:57 pm
Tim's beef pie was amazing. Chock full of meat and veggies. Of course the crust was fabulous and naturally we had to have apple pie for dessert. The coffee by the way is superb and it's a bottomless cup. Thank heavens I have to drive a half hour to get to the shack. If not I'd be 250 pounds in a month! Can't wait for my next visit!
Andrew / March 1, 2011 at 03:18 pm
Another mediocre addition to The Beach. Lack lustre restaurants and this pie joint while the concept is cute- the content is mediocre. Crust and not so great crust at that with little filling. $25/pie? ARE YOU NUTS? Go to Phipps or the Flaky Tart or Madelaine's and you'll get a pie that's 10x better and $10 LESS.

Cute store concept though. Really.
Katy / April 3, 2011 at 11:45 am
Tim is so friendly, the pies are delicious and the addition of board games is fantastic. I love this place and am so glad that Tim is doing well and that the place always seems busy.

Part of the reason I keep going back is Tim's warmth. I don't know him personally but he is always enthusiastic (a difficult trait to maintain in customer service). Keep up the great work!
RP / September 2, 2011 at 08:30 pm
just saw they opened a location in the Junction @ 259 Annette...Will def stop in and check it out
Anna / September 2, 2011 at 09:37 pm
I went to the new location at 259 Annette today with my sister daughterand son. We had the honour of being the first customers. We had ice cream, coffee and the most unforgettabley phenomenal lucious piece of strawberries and cream pie. This was the best pie I have ever eaten, my sister and I just bought a whole pie each. I think they will do amazing, I hope they do because this place is pie lovers heaven just a taste and the magic will infuse you and you will be bewitched. Eating this pie felt like falling in love.....blissful!
Terry / September 5, 2011 at 09:18 am
They just opened an outlet here near the Junction, at the corner of Annette/Clendenan. We had to buy two pies - yummmmmm.
Terry / September 5, 2011 at 09:20 am
They just opened an outlet here near the Junction, at the corner of Annette/Clendenan. We had to buy two pies - yummmmmy.
Cam / December 2, 2011 at 04:29 pm
Just found this great place. The pie and coffee was amazing. It feels like a cottage inside. The service is very personal. Highly, highly recommended to anyone who is down walking in the east beaches. Enjoy!
Kerrie / February 9, 2012 at 11:58 am
I've bought two pies from the pie shack. My complaint is not with the taste but with the degree of doneness. Both pies I've bought have been half baked/border-line raw they had to be baked for at least 20 minutes at 350. I wish they would just completely bake the pie so that I could give them rave reviews! The owner Tim is a super nice, friendly, welcoming guy but his pies are not the best in
Daria / August 25, 2012 at 01:41 pm
I was very excited to hear that the Pie Shack opened up in the Kingsway because I love pies. I bought one for my sister's birthday,and have to say, regretfully, that I was very disappointed in the peach and cream pie. I found the crust raw at the bottom and the peaches also raw. It was very mediocre in taste compared to pies I have had in the past. I also felt that $25. was way too much for a small pie. If it had been out of this world, however, I would have come back for a special occasion. I'm afraid, I don't think that will happen. The decor was also very simple. Not a place I would want to sit and chat with a friend.
Nonetheless, I do wish the owners best of luck. The service was good and friendly.
Resta_Rich / May 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm
Rating 10/10

Absolutely amazing. Went there today and had Bumbleberry Pie with ice cream and coffee and it was soo good. I must say this place is amazing, and Tim was very friendly. Going back tomorrow to have more because to be honest i love pie and Tim's are the best I have had in a long time. Recommend this place to anyone and will frequent it often for sure!

Mikek / July 27, 2013 at 05:52 pm
They have a really cool SIGN out front [it’s the lure to get you in], but that’s where the impressiveness ends!
I can't believe that these people have opened a third location, CRAP-PIE!
The wife and I dropped in the very day that they opened their new location on Annette in the Junction area of west Toronto. We both ordered a slice of apple, our favorite. The pie had an undercooked crust - chewy, very difficult to cut with a fork, and the apples where not fully cooked. Then our server acted as if I must not know what good pie is! Some guy on their web site claims that he loves pie - " I love pie, I mean real pie, the kind I grew up on made by my mom and all the moms in my neighbourhood. " I'm not sure where he grew up, pies in our hood were always edible [cooked]. He also says " the pies are not just the best pies but unforgettable. " - unforgettable alright, I can't forget that I was ripped-off for being served indigestible pie. Unless they have finally figured out how to really make good pie, stay clear and look elsewhere - I’m not going to risk losing any more money to find out.
Dan / December 29, 2013 at 12:20 am
Just finished a strawberry cream pie. Let me tell you, I am no pie guy, but that was the cat's meow. Tim is an adorable eccentric, you know, one of those people you can't stop listening to, because they are so excited, genuinely exited about what they do. The whole deal this Pie shack is, the whole deal.

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