Sweetie Pie is a bakery offering home-style pies and other sweet treats like butter tarts, cakes in a jar and Nutella filled cookies.
Situated on the corner of Harbord and Grace Street, the light and cheery space overlooks Bickford Park just across the street and brightens up the neighbourhood with their happy-go-lucky interiors.
The owner, Tina Hatton, opened the store after over 20 years working as a social worker on the pure notion that Toronto should have more pie shops.
Hatton continues to work with families and kids 9 to 5 and relies on a team of tight-knit staff and bakers to whip up the fruit fillings and handmade dough for each pie.
Taking time to create the criss-crossed pattern of the top lattice pie crust that's featured on most of them, the openings between the lattice allow the fruit juices in the pie filling to evaporate while it cooks, slightly caramelizing the inside.
The home-style pies come as 9" ($26.99), which comes with over 1,000 grams of stuffing and feeds six to eight, or individual 5" ($8.99).
Though the prices are steeper than you might find elsewhere, it's worth it if you're in the market for pies that are fully stuffed with fresh fruit filling, so much so that they have a surprising amount of weight to them.
The pies that are consistently featured on the menu include apple, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, sour or dark cherry and pecan.
While lemon meringue, which is slightly more labour intensive, is usually reserved for the weekends. They're all about the meringue here, a new takeout box even had to be found that would be high enough to accommodate the topping that is generously piled on.
The bumbleberry is a more recent invention at Sweetie Pie with a fruit combination of raspberry, strawberry and blueberry for the inside and a brown butter crumble crust on top.
If you find you're more of a cake person, they have individual cakes in a jar. The Crazy Good Cake ($5.99) comes in about six different flavours including the birthday cake and chocolate fudge that are vegan.
Another popular item on the menu is the butter tarts ($11.99 for a box of four), which I'm told have even been endorsed by a few customers from the Kawarthas, an area known to be fairly picky about their butter tarts.
Best eaten warm to get the most out of the rich buttery caramel centre, the top is also nicely caramelized from the oven.
There are also a few different cookies ($3 each or $15.99 for a box of six) including chocolate chip, red velvet white chocolate, flourless peanut butter, and M&M cookies which come a bit smaller ($5 for three).
The Nutella filled chocolate cookie was added to the menu as a loving tribute to Hatton's other half who is said to be a big fan of the hazelnut cocoa spread.
A retired Opera singer and woman by the name of Anne who's been making shortbread for about 30 years comes to prepare the regular, pecan and mint chocolate shortbread cookies ($8 for a box of five or six).
Besides espresso-based drinks made with beans from Reunion Coffee Roasters, they serve a Belgian Hot Chocolate (regular: $4, large: $5) prepared with Valrhona chocolate and topped with whipped cream, marshmallows and mini chocolate pearls.
Sweetie Pie draws in families coming from a day of tobogganing at the local park or those out for a walk with their dog. The storefront that used to home to Bean and Baker, a malt shop with a 1950s retro feel, is now a neighbourhood staple for handcrafted pies and sweet desserts.