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A Crust Above: Lauretta Jean’s Hand-Made Local Pies

There’s pie, and then there’s Lauretta Jean’s locally made pie. Get to know the owner and chief baker behind Portland’s beloved pie shop. 

Lauretta Jean’s savory pot pies both packaged and unpackaged on a countertop with a side salad.

If you're a pie connoisseur like the rest of us, you likely know about Lauretta Jean's pies. And if not, grab a fork because you're in for a real treat. 

Owner and chief baker Kate McMillen named Lauretta Jean's after her grandmother, whom she credits with teaching her everything she knows about pie making while growing up in Lewiston, Idaho. Kate took what she learned and started selling her home-made pies at the Portland Farmer's Market in 2011, but no surprise, their popularity exploded, so just a year later, she opened shop in SE Division selling pies, quiche, pastries, biscuits, and more.  

Today, Lauretta Jean's is a Portland institution known and prized for turning out seasonal pies with thick, flaky, and oh-so-buttery crusts baked from scratch using raw, locally sourced ingredients. In fact, they partner with small farms for their fruit, dairy, and grains to capture the best flavors of the Pacific Northwest. For Kate, the community is built through small business, and building relationships with local farmers is a great way to support the local food economy while staying in tune with seasonality. 

And that's why people often refer to Lauretta Jean's pies as the best they've ever had. If you've got a sweet tooth like Kate, the Chocolate Cream or Lemon Meringue pies will not disappoint, or if you prefer something savory, swing by your neighborhood New Seasons to grab a ready-to-heat Lauretta Jean's Chicken and Broccoli Cheddar pie from the deli grab & go case. 

Kate McMillen, owner of Lauretta Jean’s, holding a sheet pan with four savory pot pies.

We got the details from Kate on the best way to reheat your savory pies to keep the crust tender and flaky:

Reheat your pie in the oven (no microwave, please!) at 350ºF for about 20 minutes. The oven takes a bit longer than the microwave, but when you taste that crust, you'll see it was worth the wait.