Apple of my pie: Helga’s Homemade Pies runs on organic ingredients and family love at the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show
Helga Wyatt had been making pies for her family of five for years before her husband Ira convinced her to start selling them.
“I was like, ‘honey your pie is great!,’” Ira said. “And she was like, ‘psh, no.’”
She took fourteen pies to the Breckenridge Market and when they vanished off her table, she was shocked. Seven years into their family-run business, Helga’s Homemade Pies frequently sells out at each of the farmers’ markets it attends.
In addition to the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show, Helga’s also sells at the Dillon Farmers’ Market and various festivals around the state as their schedule allows. The family lives in Alma, south of Breckenridge. Helga’s location in the mountains makes it one of the highest-altitude pie businesses in the country, an accomplished feat given that baking above 5,000 feet is tricky.
One of the nice things about the Wyatt’s business is that they’re both capable of handling both sides of the operations: baking and business. The couple, who’s been married for 13 years, splits time between who works which markets, so each spends time with their three boys. They bake all the pies out of their home kitchen.
“Being able to not clock into a 9-to-5 and spend time with my kids,” Ira said. “I used to do construction before this and this year, I quit to be able to put 100% into this.”
Helga’s uses all local ingredients where possible, helping to support Colorado farmers and businesses, particularly those on the western slope or the front range. Since peaches are currently in season, the Wyatt’s have been making a lot of Palisade peach pies, and once apples turn ripe in the fall, they’ll make more apple pies. Their desserts are 100% organic, low in sugar, and, in their words, “kid-approved.”
Naturally, Helga’s makes typical-sized pies at 9 inches. Pies come in varying flavors including blackberry and strawberry rhubarb. But the Wyatt’s also make personal-sized pies about 2 inches in diameter. The mini pies are perfect for snacking on at markets, or for an at-home dessert that’s not sticking around past its welcome.