By Sheila Williams
“How a pie shop becomes a family”
In order for me to share how Leslie and Cory along with the employees of Life of Pie Abilene became my extended family I must start at the beginning…not their beginning, but mine.
In 2019, I survived a terrible car accident that I was not supposed to make it through. 4 broken ribs, a completely dislocated right ankle and a broken talus bone on the same foot as the ankle injury. In the hospital for a week, 6 months in a wheelchair then learning how to walk on that ankle again.
Now why did I tell you that story and what does it have to do with “Life of Pie?” Well one day after I had gotten my nails done and as I drove past the shop I decided to go in and see what they had.
The first person that greeted me was Ms. Chelsea. W hen I walked in she gave me the biggest hello with the brightest smile. After explaining their menu to me I opted just for a slice of pie, and if I remember correctly it was the Lemon Chill which is their version of an old fashion “Lemon Ice Box Pie. Oh my sweet goodness I was hooked after just one piece of pie.
I came back often having lunch, trying different pies and getting to know Leslie and Cory. One day Leslie saw that I had my cane and asked me what happened. I explained the accident and she showed me how huge her heart is, she pulled me into such a tight hug it was like we had known each other forever.
I started making it my business (much to the dismay of my weight) to come in as often as I possibly could, and I have never ever been disappointed. The only times I have been disappointed was when a few of my favorite pies were seasonal and I had to wait or I got up to the cafe too late and my favorites had been sold out. BUT being sold out is the best compliment that a cafe can have!!
The more I would visit the more I could sense the warmth not just from Leslie, Cory, and the employees, but the warmth for the customers. Laughter and real joy are felt in the pie shop. The owners and staff interact with the pie patrons as they enjoyed their lunch & pie. The conversations are about the customers and their family, you just don’t find that nowadays.
During the onset of COVID and they had to shut down as all restaurants had to, the Lord led me to pray for them and stay in prayer for them. Now just as any Christian who is honest with themselves, I do my very best to be obedient to what the Lord tells me to do; so I stayed in prayer. Even as the world started to open back up I stayed in prayer. Then one day on their Facebook page I saw a post that stated they were open for business. Now although they couldn’t have customers inside just yet, they were open for curbside pick up.
Leslie’s dad built them a rolling counter that would accommodate a cash register to continue business. Their blessings kept flowing, thank you God. When I was able to come visit it was like they hadn’t missed a beat.
So let me share this with you, I’m a full time pastor here in Abilene. Now why did I share that piece of information? One day I felt the need to have lunch at Life of Pie. So I packed my rolling briefcase and bible and came to have lunch. After lunch I worked on my sermon and just like that I was able to tune out everything, and before I knew it I was done…or let me say the Lord was done.
That became a weekly ritual for me, especially when I was doing The Fruits of the Spirits series. They got so used to me coming that when I missed a week then came back, they asked what happened? The care and concern that they showed me not only made me feel special, it warmed my heart all the way through to my soul.
God never does anything by accident, everything that He does is always in His plan. One day when I came to feed my pie addiction I mentioned that I saw their “help wanted” advertisement on their Facebook page. I told them I wish my ankle would allow me to work with them because they are doing wonderful things especially within the community.
Leslie got this twinkle in her eye and said I have an idea. And after much conversation and showing them my work on what I could do for them computer wise to help, I was graciously offered the position of Administrative Assistant…and of course, I said YES!!
As time went on Leslie, Cory, Chelsea and the other staff members have became my extended family. Family is not always blood or marriage related, many times the family that steals your heart is the family that God brings together for His reason. And I couldn't be more happy about the family from Life of Pie that God planted in my life.