In 2017, Katy and Ethan Bean were working full time corporate jobs when they decided to start a very “un-corporate” business: baking pies. Hustling in their small home kitchen whenever they weren’t at their day jobs, the Beans would tag team the pie-making process.
Ethan would make and roll out the dough early in the morning, and Katy would fill and bake the pies from the time she got home and into the night.
The couple sold the pies anywhere they could: offering up slices at a local brewery for Pie and Pints night, partnering with Coffee Roboto, a Coeur d’Alene mobile coffee cart, for special events, even inviting customers to come and pick up directly from their front porch. But local farmers markets would prove to be the tipping point for the Beans’ pie-in-the-sky dreams.
Katy started selling full-sized pies at the Kootenai County Farmers’ Market in downtown Coeur D’Alene and the Kendall Yards’ Night Market in Spokane. Katy says many market goers would stop at her stand to admire the 10-inch pies, but they all said the same thing, “I just don’t know what I’d do with a whole pie sitting at my house!” Soon Katy pivoted to selling individual slices of pie, only to realize it wasn’t the easiest or most convenient way for customers to enjoy the pie while shopping at the markets.
So Katy and Ethan decided to perfect hand pies and they quickly became the Beans’ signature item. Customers were able to choose from a variety of flavors of the compact treats, but often resorted to buying one of each because they could be enjoyed while strolling around the markets or as a treat for later. Bean & Pie had begun to make their mark on the markets and were soon looking to make their next step.
After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, Katy and Ethan started the process of building out their first brick-and-mortar storefront in downtown Coeur D’Alene, November 2019. Even with an official storefront, Katy didn’t want to change their original model. Bean & Pie would continue their partnerships with local businesses, even when it wasn’t the most profitable option. From local farms, to print shops, and even local candlemakers, Katy wanted the fabric of her community to be woven into Bean & Pie. One of Katy’s passions is Grace & Cakes, a non-profit that brings birthday treats to kids in foster care on their birthday. Bean & Pie donates a portion of every cookie sold to this cause.
When asked what she would say to the customers that have supported her and Ethan’s dream over the last few years, she said, “You matter so much, you keep me going. From the countless thank you notes, to continuing to show up for every event. Because of you we were able to keep all of our staff employed through covid, just by your orders through our curbside service, thank you. You give me the warmth and love I hope to share with you through our pies.”
Bean & Pie offers a wide variety of sweet and savory pies, using seasonal ingredients whenever possible to create flavors like Strawberry Basil and Huckleberry Peach. Offerings include hand pies, 6 inch, 10 inch, pie cups, gf/v cookies, and a full coffee menu from Evans Brothers, their partners inside their storefront.