LETTS, Iowa — When Addison Randall woke up on Christmas a year ago, she received a gift that most bakers would be thrilled to have: a double oven.
The senior at Louisa-Muscatine High School in Letts, Iowa, uses that oven to run a pie business, Addy’s Pies.
“The older oven just did not want to keep up with me anymore,” she said. “I can fit three (pies) in the top one, and in the bottom I can do two on top and two on bottom – seven pies at once. That can be pretty difficult by myself.”
From time to time, Randall said she enlists the help of her parents, Jason and Cynthia, and her boyfriend to help things move faster with all the orders coming in.
“It’s a lot bigger than I expected,” she said.
In the summer, she has more time to make her pies, but during the school year she said she typically gets started around 4 p.m. and could be baking until midnight on especially busy days.
Her busiest stretch she remembers was making 90 pies in three days.
She started making pies for her confirmation group at the church she attends. Randall wanted to help donate money to the Heifer International Program. The program’s “Gift Arks” donate two water buffalo, two cows, two sheep, two goats and other animals to other countries around the world. The current price for buying an ark is $5,000.
“I thought it was a really cool program, coming from an agriculture background, so we wanted to buy an ark,” she said. “It kind of built up their economy as they get to sell the products from these animals.”
Her fellow confirmation students started having bake sales and with the success of her pies, she realized this could be an opportunity to make some extra money. She has used money from her pie business to help fund a school band trip to New York and now is helping fund her agriculture passions as well.
One of her favorite hobbies is showing cattle, and she is currently using some of the revenue to go toward a loan she took out to purchase a show heifer.
“Showing is really important to me, and as showing has gotten more expensive, while I have a home-raised heifer, I really wanted one for my senior year to be nice and have a bigger chance,” she said. “I’ve paid almost half that loan out, and it’s paid by my pies.”
When not making pies and advertising on her Facebook page, Randall is involved in FFA, where she has gone to nationals three times for poultry judging, livestock judging and forestry. She is also stays busy with National Honor Society, 4-H and 4-H County Council, and participates on the Louisa-Muscatine golf team.