Home Slice Handmade Pies - Laura Lacina
For Laura Lacina, pie is a nostalgic comfort. Her grandmother was known for making pies in her community, so Laura thought doing the same would be a cool legacy.
In fall 2019, she started baking pies as a stress reliever and creative outlet. Then when COVID-19 hit this past spring, Laura used baking as her “me time.” She began posting pictures of the pies on her Facebook page, and people commented asking if they could buy them. So, Laura started selling her pies around Easter, and the demand has grown ever since. Thus, Home Slice Handmade Pies was “accidentally” born.
Laura, who lives in Bondurant, Iowa, runs the bakery out of her home kitchen, and what makes her unique in the world of home bakers is the pie flights she creates. Each week she comes up with four different flavors and sells four mini pies in a box. Some of her most popular flavors have been French silk, strawberry rhubarb, peanut butter cream and, recently, a version of Village Inn’s candy cane pie. Laura especially savors making any fruit pie with a top crust that she molds into a fun design.
“I really like that intricate work if I can take my time and make it pretty,” Laura says.
The business has taken over Laura’s kitchen, so she had to get creative with storage space. A couple shelves in the pantry are dedicated to baking items, as is one of the cabinets.
“We’ve adapted,” Laura says, “but we’re growing out of it pretty quickly.”
Since her kitchen is beginning to burst at its seams, her goal for 2021 is to open up a storefront in Bondurant or rent a commercial kitchen space.
For Laura, having a business embedded in the Bondurant community is a real treat. Right now, when people order from Home Slice Handmade Pies, they pick up their goods from Laura’s home. Because of this, she gets to meet each of her customers.
“There’s a connection with every single person that I talk to,” she says. “It makes me feel really proud to be part of their lives, even though it’s through pie and it’s small.”
And since pie is so nostalgic for Laura – one of the recipes she uses is her great grandmother’s apple cream pie, which is a big hit – she loves hearing her customer’s stories and sharing a slice of nostalgia with them as well.
“Customers have told me they are searching for a certain pie their grandma used to make, or their grandpa hasn’t had a certain kind of pie in 40 years or something. It’s such a pleasure to be able to work with my customers to help them get what they’ve been looking for.”
On How to Balance
“I’ve always been a ‘yes’ person, and as a result, I’ve been known to spread myself too thin. Home Slice has been such a labor of love that it’s forced me to have more boundaries for my time and my family. I only bake three days a week, and that happens to align with my husband’s days off from work. I left my full-time job in 2016 to be home with my kids, and that continues to be my first priority. I have to protect that.”
Words of Wisdom
“Do what you love and follow your gut. If you’re doing something your heart is connected to, it’s never wrong and you'll always find motivation for the work.”
This article also appeared in the January 2021 issue of Bondurant Living Magazine.