Hubig's Pies returned to the market Nov. 9 2022, bringing delight to many in New Orleans and beyond when the company also introduced shipping beyond the Crescent City.
After waiting over 10 years to taste the handpies again, people in New Orleans can easily acquire the treat at grocery and convenience stores. The familiar crinkle and sugary glaze has once again become part of the culture after its hiatus.
The history of Hubig's brings us back nearly 150 years when its namesake became the baking foreman for a neighborhood bakery. Here's a full look at Hubig's Pies inception and growth:
1860: Simon Hubig was born?in Newport, Kentucky, near Cincinnati. A few years later?— shortly after the death of his father?— Hubig and his family started a small business baking bread for the homemakers in their neighborhood. His industrious disposition allowed him to become a baking foreman by age 15.?
1890:?Hubig, 30, opened Hubig Pie and Baking Co. in Cincinnati. The business using his patented machinery grew over the next two decades to produce about 30,000 pies a day, an "output larger than that of any other bakery in the United States," according to historian Frederic Goss, author of "Cincinnati, the Queen City," published in 1912. Hubig also developed crates and bags that let him ship pies long distances.?
With October 31 falling on a Tuesday this year, Halloween lovers had the chance to show off their costumes a little early over the weekend.?
1910:?The United States struck a deal with Hubig to build a pie plant in Central America to feed workers digging the Panama Canal.
1912:?Hubig retired and sold his business to F.O. Stone Baking Co.?
1918:?Hubig came out of retirement to open a pie shop in Fort Worth, Texas, making pies for soldiers stationed at Camp Bowie near the end of World War I. His mechanized bakery produced 600 pies an hour. A March 3, 1918, Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper headline read, "Famous Pie Maker Opens Electric Pie Foundry in City." Additional bakeries followed in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.?
1921:?Intending to expand nationally, Hubig leased a building in the 2400 block of Dauphine Street in New Orleans and soon began producing pies there. Years later, the Marigny location is the only Hubig's to survive the Great Depression.
1924:?The Times-Picayune reported that Hubig bought the Dauphine Street location for $16,000.?
1926:?Dubbed "Simon the Pieman," Hubig died at age 66.?
1928:?The Times-Picayune published an advertisement announcing the seventh anniversary of Hubig's Pies in New Orleans. In the ad, the company thanked "New Orleans, known the world over as a city of connoisseurs of good things to eat," for consuming 25 million pies in seven years.
1943:?Henry Barrett took the helm of the New Orleans bakery and struggled through World War II, using the sugar rations of employees and his family to keep the business afloat. In the post-war years, the bakery produced strawberry shortcakes and other snack cakes, along with baked and fried pies. Barrett eventually partnered with Otto Ramsey Sr., and in the 1950s, they dropped the other goods to focus exclusively on pies.?
1990s:?Grocery stores began to develop in-store bakeries, often baking their pies and intensifying the competition for Hubig's. In response, Hubig's began to push and increase production of fried pies, marketing them as a unique alternative to the usual baked sweet treat.
Lillian Lovich made a tray of miniature Hubig’s pies for an art gallery opening reception last weekend. Each one was a little more than an inc…
2005:?After Hurricane Katrina and its attendant levee failures devastated New Orleans, Hubig's storefront lacked the staffing to continue frying and baking pies. The company dropped baked pastries entirely and shifted its focus to frying. Many?locals are comforted?by the return of the beloved snack.?
2011:?Hubig's Pies, a bona fide New Orleans staple by now, produced 28,000 fried pies a day. Otto Ramsey Jr. and Lamar Bowman, Henry Barrett's nephew, acquired ownership of Hubig's Pies.
2012:?On July 27, just before 4:30 a.m., a?5-alarm fire broke out?at Hubig's Marigny building. The fire started in the fryer room, where grease and oil fuel the blaze, destroying the building. Visibly upset while watching from across the street, Andrew Ramsey vowed: "We'll be back." In December,?Hubig's sued the Kenner company?that created and maintained its fire suppression system. The lawsuit ended in Hubig's favor.?
2013:?The New Orleans City Council approved a request to build a new pie plant. The plans later fell through.?
2017:?Bakers Row Condos, townhouses built where the Hubig's factory once stood, were erected and put on the market.??
2019:?Louisiana's economic development agency?approved Hubig's Pies for a small-business loan?
2020:?Ramsey announced plans to build?a new factory?in an Elmwood warehouse just off Jefferson Highway near the Huey P. Long Bridge. "We have the facility, we're getting the equipment, we have the know-how. We're getting the band back together," Ramsey said. The news was exciting, but pie lovers were weary of waiting.
2022:?The?10th anniversary of the fire?that shuttered Hubig's Pies was on July 27 and family owners reaffirmed their plans to return to business but refuse to provide a timeline.?Job postings?for production workers and delivery drivers at Hubig's threw New Orleans into an excited but confused frenzy at the beginning of November. Ramsey confirmed he hoped to hire about a dozen people for production who would eventually make the pies. On Nov. 6, Hubig's made a surprise appearance at the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. Three days later, the first comeback shipment of pies, apple and lemon flavored, to the Rouses supermarket at 4500 Tchoupitoulas St. sold out in an hour.??
Waiting on these damn Hubigs pies like... pic.twitter.com/qcsOCWRGUD— plump tuesday (@KatejoYo) November 3, 2022
2023: Hubig's continued to bring back familiar flavors like apple and lemon and then started producing chocolate, peach and coconut. They also sometimes offer seasonal flavors, according to their website.
Staff writer Kasey Bubnash contributed to this report