The shop’s manager, Caroline DeBrahl, mans the counter and makes sure to announce that they’re out of their best-selling flavor. Her red lipstick is drawn on immaculately and her peppy personality makes people smile as soon as she greets them. Royer’s Pie Haven is out of apple pie — or as they call it, “Not My Mom’s Apple Pie.”
Story and Photos by Jessica Jones
Between DeBrahl’s spunk and Royer’s extensive selection of over 10 flavors, most are only disappointed for a moment.
Royer’s Pie Haven, located on 29th Street and Guadalupe Street behind Langford Market (what used to be a gelato shop for Toy Joy), has steadily gained business since its opening on Nov. 10 last fall. The shop feels slightly outdated in a charming way — antique chandeliers hang from the ceiling above all of the seating including a huge, old looking couch in the corner.
After a summer culinary training program when she was 11-years-old, DeBrahl has been an “amateur baker” ever since. Her character fits in well with the shop’s antique style. “I really do have a passion for food. I’ve had dreams about food that have made an impression on me after I ate it, it’s comical really,” DeBrahl says. Royer’s receives all of its pies from its original location in Round Top, Texas, nearly 80 miles away. Since deliveries are only received every other day, DeBrahl is pushing for the option of making the pies in shop. “I’ve been to Round Top a few times and made the pies there. Pulling out fresh pies and immediately serving them is something I hope we will be able to do in Austin very soon,” DeBrahl says.
Bridgette Stout, the shop’s assistant manager, is also hopeful to start producing their pies locally — especially when the pies run out. “We were due for a delivery over 24 hours ago which is kind of frustrating,” Stout says, commenting on the sell-out of "Not My Mom's Apple Pie." "Round Top is an extremely busy location and it’s getting hard for them to keep up with baking for two shops, especially our location is 80 miles away," she adds.
Stout says she has been cooking since age three, when she forced her way into the kitchen, and hopes to own and manage her own cafe one day. As her shift wraps up and she is almost out the door, Stout takes an extra few minutes to help DeBrahl restock the shop. “I’m gaining a lot of experience here at Royer’s that will hopefully guide me when I open my own business someday,” Stout says.
After Stout leaves for her evening off, employee Nicole Salinas arrives to help DeBrahl finish out the day’s work. Salinas works at Royer’s Pie Haven part-time and is a third-year student at ACC. When DeBrahl tells her the Round Top delivery didn’t show up, Salinas says she’s not too surprised that the Round Top location is behind. Salinas trained at the Round Top location during the weekend of the Antique Festival, an event the town is known for, and knows just how many pies can go out of Royer’s in a day.
Royer’s Austin location has also had its fair share of dealing with large crowds. DeBrahl says their grand opening and the SXSW music festival were two of the busiest times for them, but she will never forget their craziest business day – Pi Day, March 14. “We ran out of a lot of flavors of pie and were down to just a few slices by the time we closed,” DeBrahl says.
Pi Day and SXSW may have already passed, but these events have helped Royer’s Pie Haven gain clout in the Austin area. DeBrahl says she feels like it’s only a matter of time before their location gets to bake for themselves. No matter what, the Royer’s Pie Haven location in Austin has customers coming back for more. “We have a lot of regulars now that we have grown keen to because it’s so awesome to see them in here every morning, same time, ordering the same thing. I feel like our shop matters to people and that makes me proud,” DeBrahl says.