Dangerously delicious treats
Just inside the doors of Dangerously Delicious Pies in Bethany Beach, posters of James Brown, classic Coca-Cola and Johnny Mathis decorate the walls. Elvis-themed decorations sit as a backdrop to pies encased in glass and Johnny Cash’s music graces the stereo system of the store, which sits just off of the beach town’s main drag.
The inviting atmosphere is just a bonus to the store, which offers most every kind of home-baked pie and something new to the coastal area.
“It’s unique,” Gail Henry said of the store which she will operate. “If you don’t want ice cream, you can have a pie. I think we’ll do really well.”
Henry’s son, Rodney Henry, first came up with the idea for the pie shop in 2003, after selling pies on the underground circuit.
It all started when Rodney, a Baltimore resident, was touring the country with his band, the Glenmont Popes. Seeing as how the music industry wasn’t very lucrative for the Maryland-based band, Rodney started baking pies to give as gifts. It was a hobby he traces back to his time with his great aunt and his grandmother in the Midwest.
“I never had any money for presents, so I started baking pies for people,” he said.
Then, he added, he started baking pies and selling them on the road. He started to become known as the “crazy pie man” — but there was a problem.
“I just ended up drinking beer and eating pies” with old and new friends on the road, he said. “I didn’t sell much, but people loved it.”
After marrying, though, and settling down, Rodney decided to legitimize his pie business. He opened the first retail store in a vacant spot in Baltimore’s Fells Point. Rodney then opened his wholesale business and now ships pies across the United States and worldwide.
Early this year, though, he shut the doors of his sole retail spot in Baltimore and focused on wholesale. That was before his mother had an idea to open a store in Bethany. Gail Henry has had a home in Bethany for 11 years and has called the area her permanent home for two years.
“It’s good for the (business)” Gail Henry said. “People are coming from New York, Philly, Baltimore, D.C.… And I wanted to do something.”
The Bethany spot has been open on weekends since February but started welcoming full-time business this week. From now until Labor Day, the store will remain open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., selling anything from sausage pies to lemon pies and Dangerously Delicious-blend coffee, which has already been a hit.
Fruit pies in the store cost $25, custards $20; meat pies and quiche cost $30, and slices of any pie — all of which are baked in the store — cost $5. Patrons can get samples of almost all of the store’s flavors from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on June 4 at the Sea Colony Market Place, for the 7th annual Taste of Coastal Delaware, presented by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.
Dozens of local food stops will be on hand to offer samplings of favorite dishes at the Sunday-afternoon event. Tickets cost $30 in advance or $35 at the door and can be purchased at the Chamber offices in Fenwick or at the South Coastal Library, or at Sedona or The Parkway restaurants in Bethany Beach.
Gail Henry said that the shop’s White Trash Crème Brule pie and meat pies have been especially popular in the early going. She expects that trend to continue as local residents and area visitors continue to support the new store, which is already steeped in storied tradition.
“Everything has been very successful,” Gail Henry said. “People in the community have been great.”