Regular readers know that I am doing 50 healthy things this year in honor of my 50th birthday. Here’s number 18 – Eat more pie.
As mentioned in previous posts, I recently returned from a two-week road trip. This post is the third in a series about lessons learned from the road.
With all of my recent rants about healthy eating, one might find it curious that I am recommending eating more pie as a health tip. I might be skeptical myself if I hadn’t experienced a magical place in Greensboro, AL, called the Pie Lab.
Pie Lab is much more than a typical restaurant. It’s a shop meant to build community. It’s founded on the idea that simple things, like delicious pie and good conversation, can bring people together and spread joy. Pie + Conversation = Ideas. Ideas + Design = Positive Change.
Pie Lab’s home, the small town of Greensboro in Hale County, AL, is a special community. A group of committed citizens, including Hale County native Chef Seaborn Whatley and his wife, Chef Kelley Whatley, owners of Pie Lab, are working tirelessly as catalysts for community development. Greensboro is also home to HERO, a group that runs several businesses focused on job training, affordable housing and economic development in a quest to end poverty in the Alabama Black Belt.
Our daughter, Lyndall, works at HERO Bike in Greensboro. A stop to visit her was one of the highlights of our road trip. Kelley and Seaborn have essentially adopted Lyndall as a part of their family – which includes five adorable children and a menagerie of pets. I think Lyndall eats the majority of her meals courtesy of the Pie Lab duo. Their home has also become her go-to spot for laundry and just hanging out. Randy and I are so appreciative of the love and kindness they have shown our girl, as she is so far away from home.
In addition to pie, Pie Lab serves breakfast and lunch Tuesday – Sunday. Each day, it has a hot lunch entrée. We were fortunate to experience incredible homemade meatloaf and Cajun tetrazzini. It also features an array of homemade soups, salads and sandwiches. In addition, Pie Lab caters special events and hosts a monthly dinner with a different international theme each time. Check out Pie Lab on Facebook if you want to drool over the daily specials.
Pie Lab’s food rivals that of any fine dining restaurant in the world. But its mission of building community through conversation puts it far ahead of any restaurant I’ve experienced. And in terms of health, that philosophy trumps any amount of sugar and calories in my book. Global brands would be well advised to study the Pie Lab model. Its brand essence is as well defined as any I’ve seen. Pie Lab also has an exciting new line extension opening soon – the Pie Lab Creamery, which will feature Chef Kelley’s homemade ice cream. I may have to make a special trip back for that.