There was surprise, joy, even disbelief. But it was true: Hubig’s Pies is back.
New Orleans’ lucky premieres finally had fresh pies from Hubig in their warm little hands on Sunday morning.
There was a choice of apple and lemon and no questions about authenticity.
Hubig’s Pies owners Kathleen and Drew Ramsey have set up a stand near Hancock Whitney Bank on South Carrollton Avenue to sell pies to people heading to the nearby Oak Street Po-Boy Festival.
Some people stopped in their tracks when they spotted portly baker Savory Simon’s Hubig logo on signs around the bank. Others stopped and began to run towards the tables lined with tins of pies.
“I was on my way to get my hair cut, when I saw the sign for Hubig’s I almost ran my car off the road,” said Nick Reimann, a New Orleans resident who managed to park properly and grab pies.
Where will Hubig’s pies be sold?
“We’re going to develop it, we’re going to give it to everyone,” Ramsey said. “If you were a Hubig customer, you will be one again.”
The flavor selection is limited at this time. Hubig’s starts with apple and lemon, two of its most popular varieties. The company’s other “core” flavors will soon follow, including Peach, Pineapple, Chocolate, and Coconut. Limited-run flavors will also return in their seasonal progression, with Sweet Potato, Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Banana coming soon.
It’s been a decade since a fire destroyed the original home of Hubig’s Pies, knocking the beloved treats out of circulation.
In business since 1921, sweet hand pies have become more than just a familiar cooked dish in New Orleans.
Take-out treats, which could be found at the grocery store, hardware store, or gas station, were inexpensive items that were part of the daily routine in New Orleans and were therefore ingrained in the heart of the city. a city that loves its rituals.
A split in the business partnership behind the Hubig before the fire led to years of delay. Eventually, the Ramsey family consolidated control of the business and committed to moving forward.
The return finally responds to this commitment.
“All we can say is thank you and encourage our fellow New Orleans residents to support what they hold dear,” Ramsey said.
How do they taste?
Hubig’s Pies has a new facility off Jefferson Highway near the Huey P. Long Bridge. Its construction involved a long and often laborious process of assembling new and sometimes old equipment.
Indeed, Ramsey described his goal as not simply building a new pie factory or reviving a brand. Instead, he’s committed to reconstructing Hubig’s Pies with precisely what his customers remember, from the taste of the fruit fillings to the texture of the crust to the sound the package makes when you open one.
On Sunday, the proof was in the pies. There was the familiar crinkle of individual wrappers, the sugary glaze on the surface of pies, pooling around creases at the edges, the taste of fresh apples or lemon that was shiny and smooth inside. There was the sticky feeling on the fingers after eating one, and the desire, after so long of going without, to have another immediately.
How much do they cost now?
The return answers other pressing questions about Hubig that have spanned the years.
Hubig’s has always been an economical treat, and it remains so. Hubig’s pies were selling for $1.19 each in 2012 before the fire made them the last invaluable.
Pies hitting the market now will be priced at $2.49, which Ramsey says reflects increases that would be gradually accumulated over the past 10 years. At the Sunday pop-up stand, the pies were selling for $3 each.
For those who descended on Hubig’s booth on Sunday, reuniting with a once-lost New Orleans favorite brought visceral answers.
One of them was Toi Lee, who rushed from his home in Metairie for a taste. With his dog Tyga riding in a sling bag, he carried off a whole box of pies.
“When I heard they were back, I just had to come down here,” Lee said. “I’ve missed them for so long.”
As local distribution begins, Hubig also plans to launch a new website that will offer online ordering and shipping, “to get pies into the hands of New Orleans expats,” Ramsey said. That site, hubigs.com, should be live by Monday.
This story was originally published November 6, 2022 1:47 p.m.