As a 47-year-old devoted wife and mother of two boys with a 20-year career in the financial services indus try, and a marathon runner, Susie Mickler didn’t know her life needed changing… but apparently God did.
It all started with a dare. Suzie’s love language was pie. She enjoyed baking her fudge and peanut butter fudge pies for friends and family whenever the occasion called for it.
In January 2020, she took a pie to a friend’s birthday gathering. That friend, Glenn McDaniel, happens to be the owner of McDaniel’s Qn2 BBQ restaurant.
“You know, I could sell this pie,” Glenn said.
“Whatever, you could not sell this pie,” Susie said, “but I’ll bring you two and you can try!”
So, she showed up to the restaurant with two pies, and before she returned home, he called her to tell her he had sold both pies. Those two customers placed repeat orders. Suzie and her husband, Rob, started talking, one thing led to another, and by March they had a website and were finding packaging, filing for an LLC, and, well, baking a lot of pies. The family rallied around the pie business. Rob learned to bake the pies and would bake orders while she was at the office. Her son worked as the delivery driver.
Her nickname for her oldest son was “Schmoopie” (shmoo-pee) and could often be heard cheering “GO SCHOOMPIE” at his sports games. A friend started playing around with names and said, “Hey! Schmoo…pie” and Schmoo Pies was born.
That February they sold $500 in pies.Soon she was creating yummy new flavors, like S’Mores, Chess, Irish Whiskey, and Kentucky Bourbon. Then, just a couple of months after selling their first pies, that “side hustle” became a life saver.
Susie and Rob started doing pop up shops at local events and shops like Signatures Gifts and Interiors. She began doing fundraisers with schools to help get her name out in the community and eventually started getting corporate orders. By the 9th month, they had sold 1,000 pies, all baked in her single oven in her suburban kitchen.
“I have a very strong faith and I think it’s funny that God put these pies into our lives in the February-March time frame,” she said. “We were very surprised that in May my husband was furloughed, and then his position was eliminated.”
Susie said they were blessed that she had a full-time job and supportive family and friends, inspiring the new motto “I get PIE with a little help from my friends.”
“What was great is that we had the pie company going, and at that time I always referred to it as ‘gravy’,” she recalled. “I didn’t know it was going to become the meat.”
The family rallied around the pie business. Rob learned to bake the pies and would bake orders while she was at the office. Her son worked as the delivery driver.
Susie and Rob started doing pop up shops at local events and shops like Signatures Gifts and Interiors. She began doing fundraisers with schools to help get her name out in the community and even tually started getting corporate orders. By the 9th month, they had sold 1,000 pies, all baked in her single oven in her suburban kitchen.
“I took a Bible study back in the Spring of 2019, and the purpose of it was to learn what God’s purpose is for you,” she said. “From that experience, I learned that I love taking people food.
“So, when it comes to what we’re supposed to be doing and our plans,” she said, “I think I’m supposed to be baking pies—eliciting joy one pie at a time.”
By December Rob had started a full-time job, and Susie could begin thinking about the future. So, one year after selling her first pie, she took the risk and left her full-time job to focus on her new venture.
She recently won Georgia’s Best Desserts by the Georgia Business Journal, is nominated for Best of Cobb, and she’s doubled her pie sales this holiday season.
“To think that when we started, Rob and I were excited about the prospect of selling 4 pies a week, thinking that would be an extra $100 week,” Susie said.
This year, Susie will turn 50, but she’s not done dreaming and growing. Now, accelerating into phase 2 of the business: looking for a commercial space which will allow her to offer wholesale pies to restaurants and specialty stores and to sell regionally. Since her in-house delivery driver will be heading off to college, that means adding staff, as well.
“What I’ve learned, I think, is to let go and let God,” Susie said. “You can only concern yourself with today.”
“It’s never too late to discover a new purpose. I never thought I would own a business and certainly never thought I would own a bakery.”
Is your mouth watering? You can order your pie at Schmoo-pies.com.
Written By Neeahtima Dowdy