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How a Childhood Toy Inspired This Entrepreneur to Launch Her Business

Reminded of her passion, Laurie Gray ditched the corporate world and launched the Pie Bar bakery.

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This story appears in the July 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There's something about working with dough that's calming and therapeutic. I learned that from my mother, Beverley. As a child, I'd be by her side as she'd make cookies, brownies, breads, lemon bars, and pies -- all from scratch. I'd then spend hours in my bedroom in a make-believe kitchen, replicating what I saw with my Little Chef toy oven.

Courtesy of Dustyn Reno Photography

Years passed. I grew up. After two decades and a career in banking, I decided, Heck, I'm going to give baking a shot instead. In 2003, my friend and I put in $500 each, stocked a space in a commercial kitchen with supplies, and started baking pies. We wholesaled to about a dozen local food stores and sold directly to customers at nearby farmers' markets.

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