Where to Get Pie for Pi Day in Rhode Island
However you slice it, we’ve got you covered for Pi Day festivities.
Grab your calculator and your pastry cutter — it’s Pi Day!
Beloved of math teachers everywhere, this March 14 celebration commemorates the first three digits of the mathematical sign pi. (Remember, from high school geometry class? 3.14? It’s OK, we don’t either.) More importantly, it’s a chance for the rest of us to celebrate that other kind of pie, the one that comes with a lightly browned crust and oozing fruity or chocolatey goodness from your local bakery or farmstand. We’ve gathered up a few of our sweet and savory favorites so you can celebrate Pi Day with a sampling from across the state. As if we needed an excuse to eat pie…
PVD Pies, Pawtucket
Stumble upon this pie shop tucked inside Hope Artiste Village and you’ll think you’ve walked into your grandmother’s kitchen. Gina Rose Herlihy serves up savory twists on old-school comfort food, like her chicken broccoli Alfredo or shepherd’s pie loaded with mashed potatoes, all tucked inside a flaky crust and served in miniature sizes just perfect for lunch. Try the chicken pot pie, a favorite with Herlihy’s kids, or if you’re feeling adventurous, take home a full-size Mac Daddy — a Southern-style picnic-in-a-pie-tin featuring a baked mac-and-cheese crust layered with barbecue pork or chicken, tangy collard greens, candied yams and a crumbled cornbread topping.
Herlihy, who previously worked at Ogie’s Trailer Park, started baking out of Hope Artiste Village in the spring of 2020. The space hosts a kitchen and bakery counter, though she warns hungry visitors to be ready for a little culinary adventure — the selection changes daily, and items often sell out. “I get the best people that come in here,” she says. “A lot of people are just open to what’s here this week: ‘What’s new?’ And I love that.”
Instead, come with an open mind and an empty stomach ready to sample the selection of savory hand pies, full-size pies and sweet favorites like Key lime and chocolate cream. Individual pies typically make a meal for one, while full-size pies are sold whole or by the slice when available. Herlihy also offers take-and-bake versions of some of her bestsellers, including chicken pot pie, and takes special orders over email.
Hours: Wed.–Fri. noon–4 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St., Suite 8208, Pawtucket, instagram.com/pvdpies
Phantom Farms, Cumberland
A northern Rhode Island classic, Phantom Farms has been serving up baked goods and freshly picked apples for the better part of seven decades. Stop in for a blueberry, apple or Fruits of the Forest pie, and you’ll soon find yourself wandering into the greenhouse seating area or outdoor deck to while away the morning with a coffee and a freshly baked muffin. (We’re partial to the banana nut muffin, but get there early — they sell out!) Once you’ve finished choosing your dessert spread from the pastry case, check out the gift shop for a selection of farm products and unique gift items year-round. You can even pick up fresh milk courtesy of another Blackstone Valley favorite, Wright’s Dairy Farm. Just be sure to plan a return trip in the fall when the pumpkins are ripe and the apple cider is flowing in everything from doughnuts to hot mulled drinks.
Hours: Mon.–Sun. 6 a.m.–6 p.m.
Location: 2920 Diamond Hill Rd., Cumberland, 333-2240, phantomfarms.com
Pelloni Farm, Hopkinton
Pelloni Farm has maintained legendary status among visitors to and residents of South County for years with its sweet and flaky pies, not to mention other Rhode Island bakery favorites like zeppole and breakfast pastries. The Pelloni family — including husband Anthony, wife Donna and son Thomas — run this multigenerational farmstand tucked away on a quiet road in Ashaway. Despite the remote location, visitors come in droves to sample the house-baked pies made with berries grown on the property. Favorites include the Berry Patch, featuring blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, and the Harvest Pie, with apples, strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb. They also make a Patriot Pie with apples, blueberries and raspberries in honor of New England’s home team. “Most of our pies we make two different ways. They have a top crust like a traditional pie or a Dutch crumb pie topping,” says Anthony.
Classics like apple or strawberry peach are always popular in season. Also in demand is the Pelloni Farm jam, available for purchase and even served during brunch at the Ocean House. Snag a few seasonal cupcakes on your way out the door — the March flavor features Baileys, Jameson whiskey and Guinness — and you’ve got a complete meal.
Hours: Thurs.–Sun. 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Location: 56 Ashaway Rd., Ashaway, 377-8975
Vesta Bakery, Westerly
Downtown Westerly has no shortage of places to satisfy your sweet tooth, and Vesta Bakery is the place to find classic pies that present beautifully on the dinner table. Pastry chef and owner Allyson Mansfield trained in San Francisco and has more than twenty-five years of experience baking up tasty treats. The bakery offers more than a dozen flavors, from lemon meringue to favorites like blueberry and chocolate cream. You can also order traditional holiday desserts like ricotta and rice custard pie. (Easter is on April 9 this year. Time to start planning!)
Pies come in six- and ten-inch varieties and are best ordered two days ahead. Mansfield specializes in wedding and other special occasion cakes, but her shop also carries a selection of breads, pastries and breakfast items that are sure to be a hit in the office. Pick up some mini cannoli or mousse bombes to share and keep the pie all to yourself.
Hours: Tues. orders and pickups only; Wed.–Fri. 8 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: 47 Railroad Ave., Westerly, 348-7055, vestabakery.com
Vienna Bakery, Barrington
For an old-school bakery on the East Bay, head to Vienna Bakery. Three years ago, owner Missy LaPlante purchased the bakery from the Balasco family who had run it since 1935. “I worked for Joe for twenty-five years, and he wanted to retire. It was an honor to be asked,” LaPlante says, referring to the latest Balasco to run the space. The bakery offers a selection of baked pies including apple, blueberry, cherry, pumpkin and custard, along with cream pies such as chocolate and banana cream. The Key lime pie, LaPlante says, is a big seller in the summer, as are classics like apple. Popular flavors including blueberry, apple and cream pies are available daily, and orders placed by 10 a.m. can be ready for same-day pickup. While you’re stopping in, don’t forget to grab lunch to go — pizza is sold by the slice with toppings like Buffalo chicken, chicken bacon ranch, prosciutto and asparagus, and eggplant, and ten-inch pizzas are available by special order. Or forget the toppings entirely and grab a box of Rhode Island pizza strips. Vienna’s comes with a hearty sauce and a light sprinkling of Romano cheese and can be cut into twelve or twenty-four slices for serving.
Hours: Tues.–Sat. 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sun. 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Location: 110 Maple Ave., Barrington, 245-2355, viennabakeryri.com
Provencal Bakery, Middletown
Provencal Bakery is famous for its artisan breads, but the house-baked pies and pastries are also worth a trip over the bridge. The bakery serves apple, blueberry, cherry and mixed berry fruit pies, holiday favorites like pecan and pumpkin pies, and cream pies including chocolate, banana and coconut cream. They use locally grown fruit and premium chocolate when available and incorporate high-fat heavy cream so the housemade whipped cream is always extra creamy.
“Most pies are special order, but when we make one, we make many, and we like to have fruit pies on display during the summer,” says owner Brenda Sabbag. “We keep some in the freezer for last-minute shoppers as well.”
The bakery offers specialty pies to order, including mincemeat, lemon chiffon and lemon meringue. Check the bakery’s social media pages for the latest offerings and be sure to grab a fresh-baked loaf on the way out the door. Baguettes, whole wheat and sourdough make daily appearances on the bakery’s shelves, and you can also snag specialty loaves like cranberry pecan, roasted garlic rosemary and Kalamata olive on certain days of the week.
Hours: Mon. and Wed.–Fri. 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Location: 750 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown, 845-9313, provencalbakery.com