Katy pie shop back in business after community rallies to cover rent during financial struggles

A Katy pie shop is open, despite a rough start to the week, thanks to customers who wanted to give back some of the generosity they've received. 

Proud Pie has been a community staple for eight years, never missing an opportunity to be a good neighbor. 

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So, when finances got so tight that the doors were locked, the community stepped up in remarkable fashion.

In the kitchen, the staff are busy making all the pies they can. That's because they were unexpectedly closed on Monday when a notice was taped to the front door by the landlord stating that the rent hadn't been paid and the locks had been changed.

Owner Scott Chapman says trouble's been brewing for awhile. 

"It's kind of a soft economy, right now," he says. "I say 'kind of', and I think that's being nice, actually." 

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Costs are up, such as butter that's gone from $69 a case, just a couple of years ago, to $144 now. Added to that, customers aren't buying as much pie. 

"These are challenges, and I can only raise my prices so much," says Chapman. "People won't pay $12 for a slice of pie."

Some may recall, after the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, when Proud Pie took its entire pie inventory on the road and gave it away to a grieving community. It's just some of the shop's charitable outreach.

When Chapman asked for help on Facebook, the response was enormous. 

In less than half an hour, people offered gifts and micro-loans totaling more than $12,000 to cover the missing rent. 

"What do you say to that?" marvels Chapman. "It's just fantastic."

The day after the lockout, customer Pam Bregenzer walked into the shop. She didn't get the chance to be one of the so-called 'Pie Angels.' But when she heard about the problem, buying pie seemed to be the next best thing. 

"I have not seen another human who owns any business, or any resident, that does more than he does," says Bregenzer. "I think that's incredibly special and want to be part of keeping that going."

The grateful people at Proud Pie would like nothing more. 

"We want to sell pie. I want to sell a lot of it," says Chapman. "And I want to make people happy."

Chapman plans to pay back the micro-loans within a week. To do that, Proud Pie has got to sell a lot of pie. And the kitchen will stay busy baking, in anticipation of a line of customers who will show up to buy it.