When you think of New Orleans delicacies, you might think of warm beignets topped with powdered sugar, oyster-filled po-boys, or steaming hot gumbo brimming with flavor and spice. But another Big Easy staple, the locally famous Hubig’s Pies, had been missing from shelves for ten years, leaving taste buds tingling with anticipation. Finally, the prodigal pies have returned.
Earlier this month, the fried, fruit-filled hand pies that come tucked in a wrapper hit shelves again in local grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience stores, causing an outright frenzy all over town. “We had people jump out of their cars with curlers in their hair and slippers on their feet because they heard the pies were being sold at the festival,” says co-owner and brand manager Kathleen Ramsey of the recent Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. Crowed one fan on Facebook: “10K sold in the first four hours! Hubig’s Pies are back in their original form. It’s a dream come true.”
Hubig’s Pies have been part of the city’s culinary landscape since its factory opened in 1921, sending the sweet aromas of apple, lemon, peach, chocolate, and coconut wafting from its French Quarter homebase for nearly ninety years. But in 2012, the factory tragically burned down, leaving many to wonder if the company would survive and the pies would ever return.
With the help of a committed, veteran crew and a batch of new talent, Hubig’s is on the rebound. “We are building the team back up,” says owner Andrew Ramsey, the third generation of Ramseys to own and operate Hubig’s. “A good 50 percent of the work crew that came back are veteran Hubig’s employees. The guy making our icing has been making our icing for forty years.”
While the company is still in the process of rolling out its full selection of original and seasonal flavors, two fan favorites, apple and lemon, are on shelves now, sporting that familiar packaging that features the brand’s mascot, Savory Simon.
The local shops Rouses, Canseco’s, Dorignac’s, Robért Fresh Market, and Zuppardo’s are carrying the pies, and fans can sign up for the Hubig’s newsletter PIEMAIL to get the latest scoops and updates on new flavor releases. Before long, the treats will make their way to stores across the Gulf Coast. But for now, they are sticking to the place they call home.