COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) — You now have a new option to get your holiday pies. The owner of The Pie King says his goal is to sell his pies all around the country.
He's starting in Council Bluffs where he opened his new shop last week.
All the pies are handmade. The Pie King tells 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole you won't find pies like his anywhere else.
Toby Simmons has been baking pies since he was a teenager.
"The first item I ever sold was an apple pie. I took that apple, sliced it up, and put it all together," said The Pie King owner.
His secret has always been fresh ingredients and patience.
"At the age of 19-years-old, I had a really good pie filling and by 21, I had an excellent pie crust. I wanted the best pie crust on the market," Simmons said.
"The crust does make the pie. You can have a good filling all you want. If your crust isn't good the whole pie is no good," he added.
He called himself "The Pie Man" until a customer had another idea.
"She said that was the best apple cranberry with walnut crust pie I ever tasted. That sign needs to read The Pie King," he recalled.
Four years ago, The Pie King moved from Charleston, South Carolina to Council Bluffs.
"He was making pies when I met him," said fiancée Edmonia Richard.
Edmonia fell in love with Toby and his pies.
"When I first had his pies, my lip just dropped. I was like, 'how can a man bake something like this?'" she laughed. "And he started giving me different flavors and I said 'wow, I'm already a large lady, I have to slow down.'"
Now he's spreading the love at The Pie King's new shop.
From cheesecake to pecan, he makes more than 50 pie flavors. Some familiar, others unique.
"Lemon meringue coconut custard, sour cream and raisin and the orange custard meringue is a must try," Toby listed.
One of Toby's signature desserts is his sweet potato pie.
"I know sweet potato pies are an icon. So, if you come out and say your sweet potato pie is good, it better be good. People will let you know if it's not," he said.
He has 10 sweet potato pie flavors including blueberry, peach, apple and sweet potato with coconut and raisins.
"People are accustomed to regular sweet potato pie. A lot of people were hesitant to taste it. Once they realized how good it was, they really enjoyed it," he explained.
His pies come in all sizes, but Toby likes the four-inch mini's best.
"You can eat one or two and you don't feel so bad. You don't have that guilt," he laughed.
Whether it's big or small, he says his customers tend to react the same.
"When people eat these pies, they get happy inside," he smiled.
If you want to try one of Toby's delicious pies, there are a few options. You can stop by, place an order online or on the phone. But if you want a pie for the holidays, he suggests reserving your order at least two weeks in advance.
Toby says don't wait until Thanksgiving for pie because at The Pie King there really is a pie for every occasion.
"There's literally a pie for all seasons," he said with a smile.
The Pie King features seasonal pies and will have a flavor of the week.
This week's flavor is Strawberry Banana Cheesecake.
If you want to try The Pie King's pies, the mini pies are just three dollars.
To see all the prices, place an order or learn about The Pie King membership, go to 1509 West Broadway in Council Bluffs or visit piekingcafe.com.