“Pie and Happiness” is both our slogan and lifestyle. Every day is a fun one in the Pie Piper kitchen. And that fun spills over to the dining area, goes with you as takeout, and visits you as delivery. Just try a slice of pie and try not to smile. Each pie, cake, and donut has a story to tell. Each new creation starts with “How can we bring someone an even bigger smile?” Whether celebrating something big, brightening up a day at the office, or just deciding that a Tuesday is Pie day, our Pipers and Donuteers are here to share our stories and inspirations with you in the most delicious way possible.
The Pie Piper was born in early 2014 at the Howick Village Saturday market when the mother-daughter team of Danielle and Suzanne Butler thought “Hey, pies are awesome; Aucklanders are awesome; what if we get a stall and…” And wow were they right! Kiwis lined up for American-style dessert pies, and the duo got more and more successful: pie after pie, market after market. Blueberry pie, strawberry pie, apple…. Auckland was now Pie Land!

In 2017, The Pie Piper & Doornuts opened its door on Auckland’s iconic K'Rd as the flagship store, making Auckland the pie capital of NZ. Going beyond dessert pie, the mother and daughter created an entire donut brand, Doornuts, with made-from-scratch donuts that are not just delicious but creative in their unique flavor combinations and toppings. Add to that the most delicate and beautiful cakes, danishes, pastries, and the world’s first gourmet cinnamon rolls and you have the current Pie Piper. Well, almost… there is now also an actual Diner Menu, with Mac-n-Cheese, fried chicken, burgers, and everything else that makes the North American diner experience a timeless classic.

Fast forward to today: With Suzanne off to live in Canada (but still contributing ideas), Danielle is now joined by the most amazing team of Pipers and Donuteers. And they are all needed: the demand is so big that, on 14 Feb 2019, they opened also at The Eatery, East Ridge, Mission Bay (joining other really cool eateries). Double the fun. But why stop there? The Pie Piper visits farmers’ markets, hosts its own festivals (like the biggest Loaded Mac-N-Cheese festival around), and has all sorts of fun contests for pie and donut lovers. And yes, there is delivery too! (And pickup.)

Even with two locations, we hand-make all our pies and treats from scratch. Every day. So each one looks and tastes unique — it’s made just for you. This is not at all efficient, but our customers swear by the resulting taste (and look).

Danielle's was practically born with a slice of pie on her plate.

 

Danielle visiting family in Michigan, USA. 1970

Danielle and her Mum, Janet, making pie.  Fountain Valley, California, USA -1972

She grew up in Southern California and came to NZ in the late 1970's when her parents, Robert and Janet (a Kiwi), moved the family to Auckland to be closer to Janet's Mum. After high school, Danielle moved back to Southern California with her sister to attend university, where she met her husband, and then they boomeranged back to NZ to start a family.

Danielle’s parents and extended family handed down so many pie recipes, that she was bound to become the Master of Pies somewhere someday. Her family also gave Danielle an appreciation of fresh produce and ingredients, which is the open secret behind Pie Piper’s success. Danielle’s mum, Janet, as a Kiwi married to an American, had to teach herself how to make pie when she was a young bride now living in the USA. Robert, Danielle's father, always had a garden and fruit trees, and that produce had to be incorporated into the household somehow. So Janet got creative on how to use it all, including preserving anything spare. And where there are great preserves, there are bound to be great pies.

 Danielle and her sister, Caroline, in their Dad's garden, Fountain Valley, California, USA- 1973.  Below, Danielle and her Dad.

Back in New Zealand, Janet got an even bigger garden (thanks, Robert), with numerous fruit and nut trees. So with Kiwi ingredients and American pie skills, Janet got so creative with her pies that they became an instant hit at events. Fast forward to the present day, when Janet has passed the Pie torch onto Danielle. And the pies are as popular as ever.

Here at the Pie Piper, we continue family traditions.  We use as many New Zealand ingredients as we can.  We make the most of the seasons, and what's available on the local market.  So don’t be shocked to see Danielle scouring the local berry farms and at the Avondale Market checking out produce. And stop by either our K’rd or The Eatery store to taste the results (hint: mouthwatering).

Now Danielle is passing on her love of pie, cakes, and other North American treats to Aucklanders and all New Zealand one bake at a time.

Once you taste Danielle’s decadent creations, you may go up a level and take a class at the K'Rd flagship store to become your own favorite baker. You may be tempted to try the entire menu, and so we must sternly tell you: go ahead — we keep adding new and special items all the time. You won’t run out of yummy options.

Danielle is so happy to share her baking knowledge and how to create something wonderful and delicious to share with family and friends. Reach out to her and the Piper team with any questions. Danielle even hosts bake-along online, so make sure to join the newsletter and the Facebook group to stay on top of everything pie, donuts, and authentic diner food.

Pie and Happiness are only a few blocks (or website clicks) away.

Driven by Danielle's vision of being the best North American-style bakery around, The Pie Piper & Doornuts is a shared effort of a lot of wonderful people, who run the bakery and the storefronts with passion, creativity, and infectious fun.

Isabeau (Izzy) was the first Piper baker back in 2014! Originally from Arkansas, USA, she has pie baking in her blood as she comes from a long line of bakers. Her grandmother ran a diner in Arkansas and even wrote a recipe book.

Like all the Pipers who come to work with Danielle, Izzy has left her mark. Her chocolate cake recipe aka "Izzy's Chocolate Cake," is always in our store as a best-seller favorite. Come by for a slice and you’ll see — and taste — why. This cake is instant happiness (just like Izzy).

Renee (pictured right) was our first Marketeer. Renee made sure that our market stalls were in the right place and with the right treats. She encouraged Danielle and Suzanne to get involved in special events. Basically, Renee brought her marketing skills to Piper and helped the business grow and create a bigger pie for Kiwis to enjoy (so to speak).

Today, Renee is working as a Senior Marketing Consultant for Tomahawk Marketing but still finds time to help Danielle and the Piper team by mentoring newer members in the art of pie marketeering.

Meet Chef Francisco Vargas, Head Pastry Chef at The Pie Piper & Doornuts, nickname 'Pancho'.

Pancho walked in off the street just as the flagship K’rd store was being built in 2017 and asked for a job. Originally from Chile, Pancho didn't speak very good English, but between pictures on phones and a bit of charades, the international language of pastry was spoken fluently. Pancho started the following day and quickly proved to be a treasured find for the Piper team.

Pancho was already an experienced Pastry Chef, he just needed Danielle to teach him North American dessert pies (and you know how much Danielle loves sharing her knowledge and love for pies).

Today, Pancho's English is fantastic, and Danielle is still learning Spanish. But when it comes to pie making, Danielle and Pancho often face-off to see who's the best, while other Pipers and Donuteers stand by to enjoy the show and perform the taste test for themselves. Yes, the competitive fun is contagious.

Meet Chef Montserrat Schweitzer. We call her the 'Donut Queen' but she's the boss of our Piper HQ team, managing customer service, events, special orders, and custom work.

Nickname 'Montse' (pronounced Mon-say)
Montse joined our Piper team in 2017, exactly 3-months and 17-days after Head Chef Francisco (Pancho). We know that because Pancho gave us a countdown each and every day until Montse finally arrived and joined us. They had been newly married in January that year in Chile, and separated when Pancho came to New Zealand first. Now he has to share Montse with us, and we couldn’t be more grateful for that.

Montse came on board to head our donut team and was soon creating such original, creative donuts that they are still customer favourites today. She was crowned the Donut Queen early on and still reigns supreme over Doornuts.

If you have a custom request, Montse is your go-to Piper and Donuteer. She is fantastic at finding creative and delicious solutions for our customers, from branding donuts to custom cakes to creating memorable dessert buffets and catering events. Yes, we can cater to any event and make it unforgettable.

Chef Franciso and Montse are the Dynamic Duo here at Piper. Their love and passion shines through. And their creativity results in pies and donuts you just won’t find anywhere else.

Chef Francisco and Montserrat at The Pie Piper and Doornuts

The Pie Piper's slogan, “Pie and Happiness,” is as much about our team as it is about our food. It is also about every customer: whether you sit down for a meal, do takeout, get a delivery, or catch us at a farmers’ market — you’re in for a slice of happiness.

The original Piper team (right) created the foundation of something that continues to grow and evolve in a fun, organic way that puts healthy, delicious food and everyone’s happiness ahead of everything else. We have a lot of vegan and gluten-free options so everyone can find something to smile about here. We don’t know what exactly the future holds, but we’re 100% certain that it will include pie and happiness.

Come and visit the Pipers & Donuteers and experience both for yourself.