Julep hosting event Thursday to showcase Moore’s cookbook

June 10, 2024 | 12:08 am

Updated June 9, 2024 | 11:23 pm

Photos provided

Marla Minix Moore spent countless hours over the last few years collecting her mother Connie’s tried-and-true recipes and putting them into a cookbook. This Thursday, Julep Home & Gift is hosting an in-store event with Marla, and copies of the cookbook will be available.

The event will run from 5:30-7 p.m. at Julep (located at 2738 Frederica Street). Light food and beverages will provided.

Below is the original story OT wrote about Moore’s journey of writing the cookbook.

‘Sweet Magnolia’s Pie Lady.’ Moore published cookbook to honor mom’s baking legacy

Connie Minix owned Sweet Magnolia’s Pie Shoppe for 25 years in Lexington. Her daughter, Marla Minix Moore, spent countless hours over the last few years collecting many of Connie’s tried-and-true recipes and putting them into a cookbook that is available now — a project Moore said was fully to honor and show love for her mother.

The cookbook, “It Started with a Pie: Secrets of Sweet Magnolia’s Pie Lady,” was published about a month ago, but the story began decades ago in eastern Kentucky.

Minix grew up on pies. Her parents owned a drugstore in Pikeville in 1947, and her mother made pies to sell at the soda fountain. The seed was planted, but Minix still had no idea she’d later run her own pie shop.

Minix got married at 17, then got divorced 20 years later after her children were grown. For the next 8 years while living in Ashland, Minix worked in the car business, learning how to sell and promote.

Minix later took a vacation to California, trying pies all across San Francisco. With none living up to the ones she made herself, Minix decided to start her own pie shop in Lexington.

The business was originally named Dottie’s Pies and launched in August 1989, offering 25 cream and fruit pies. Six years later, the business was booming and had outgrown its space. Minix moved from a 1,000-square-foot location to one that was 4,000 square feet in September 1995.

That’s also when she changed the business name to Sweet Magnolia, with loyal customers referring to her simply as “The Pie Lady.”

The cookbook is a compilation of the recipes developed over the 25 years Minix ran the shop before retiring. 

In the intro to the cookbook, Moore wrote that in the last 10 years since Minix retired, “our family has missed visiting the shoppe in Lexington and eating her delicious desserts. So we began talking about publishing a cookbook so our family could continue to bake and enjoy the Sweet Magnolia recipes.”

Moore originally just envisioned the project being a family cookbook. 

“I just thought it’d be fun. I wasn’t planning on selling the book,” she said. “I just whittled all the recipes down, which took me a long time, and put together a cookbook. … The first edition was just sort of for our family, and I gave them all as Christmas gifts a couple of years ago.”

The opportunity to publish the cookbook came up a couple of years later, and Moore decided to share the recipes with the public. It’s not just a book of recipes, though.

“It’s a beautiful book. It has her whole story of how she started her business. She was really well-respected in Lexington,” Moore said. “I tried to write it from her perspective because it was her shop. I just did the legwork of putting the book together, telling her story. It has some family history, but if you make it too much about family then the general public wouldn’t even enjoy reading it.”

The cookbook has about 75 recipes in total. Most of them are baking recipes — such as for her homemade pie crust — but there are a few others such as for chicken salad and vegetable soup.

Moore also made a dedicated effort to make the recipes user-friendly so that inexperienced bakers could still enjoy them.

“If you pick up any cookbook, a lot of them are hard to follow as a new cook because they don’t give you the tips,” she said. “Baking is still an art. It’s not easy for anybody to do, but all of these recipes were baked and tested in her pie and cake kitchen for 25 years.”

Moore’s husband Don Moore III played a major role in helping edit the cookbook and get it published. The rest of the family was invaluable in keeping the love of baking alive, Moore said.

“Our whole family, we just all love to cook and entertain and bake,” she said. 

“It Started with a Pie” was released about a month ago on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Words Matter Publishing. It will be available soon locally at Julep Home and Gift as well as Becca Bakes.

“My total goal was just to show honor and love for my mother,” Moore said. “That’s the only reason I wrote it. Then once we put so much time into it, I started sharing it with friends. If I don’t even sell a book, I’m just happy. It was a great project just for our family to have these recipes for future generations.”

In honor of Mother’s Day, Moore gave a special thanks to her mom.

“My mother taught me to love God, show love and respect for all people, and live in peace and harmony with family and in our communities,” Moore said. “She is a strong, loving, humble, and beautiful woman. I have been blessed by God to have such a special mother.”

June 10, 2024 | 12:08 am

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