As you may have seen in our What’s Next COS story, the celebrated Gold Star Pies is evolving from its seasonal food truck into a full-scale brick and mortar dessert destination inside Ivywild School. The new Gold Star Bakery will open in late October 2023, just in time to serve its expanded menu for the holiday season. We’ve learned even more about the transition and what it means for the beloved pie company and local dining scene.
More than just a physical move, the growth represents an ownership change for the small business as Gold Star has been acquired by the Blue Star Group. The new sweets shop joins the diverse portfolio of food and beverage concepts owned by local restaurateur Joe Coleman, who was one of the visionary partners behind the renovation and development of the Ivywild School. His Principal’s Office and Ivywild Kitchen are already part of the Ivywild food and drink collection. Now Gold Star Bakery will supply the entire space with pies, cookies and other homemade treats year-round.
“It’s a win, win for everyone,” says Heather Briggs, owner of Gold Star Pies. “It’s an expansion of our brand, and I’m excited for the people who have loved Gold Star Pies for a while. Now, they can get pie easily and regularly at Ivywild.”
Briggs and her sister and fellow baker, Tessa Flowers, will still be actively involved in the evolution of the menu, participating in flavor development and baking in the kitchen. Briggs says their previous structure was “just two people trying to make hundreds of pies.” When the sisters reached empty-nester status and were presented with the opportunity to sell to the Blue Star Group, they saw it as a positive transition for the family-run business.
“The brand got too big for the engine that was in it, and Blue Star has a big engine,” Briggs says. “The Blue Star Group has a great, professional team, and I feel good about their ability to take what we built and keep serving our community in a good way.”
Gold Star Bakery will continue to produce the coveted pies patrons know and love, including Bourbon Pecan, Tart Cherry, Dutch Apple, German Chocolate and Blueberry Cobbler. Whole 9-inch pies will be available from the restart. Pie by the slice will also be served with optional cocktail pairings at the neighboring Principal’s Office. Briggs dabbled with that collaboration during COVID and says she is excited to build it more.
An additional assortment of treats will gradually roll out too, such as chocolate chip cookies, carmelitas, brownies, Rice Krispy treats, peanut butter cookies, gluten sensitive options and Gold Star’s family recipe for lemon bars.
“We’re really excited about the partnership with Blue Star Group, and we get good feels from them,” Briggs says. “They’re good humans. They care just like we do about creating community through food. They build up their employees and have a dedication to quality. It’s a perfect match.”
Starting the week of Oct. 16, visitors to the Ivywild School might get lucky with a sample of a pie or cookie coming out of the Gold Star Bakery test oven. During this preview week, patrons may also be able to purchase slices of pie to enjoy with a cocktail or coffee drink at the Principal’s Office. It’s all part of the development process to test and perfect pie and cookie recipes before the Gold Star Bakery grand opening slated for Nov. 1. Once open, customers will also be able to pre-order pies and order holiday pies via a new online ordering process.
The acquisition of Gold Star Pies is the first major move for the Blue Star Group since it opened Stellina Pizza Cafe in 2020 during the COVID pandemic. But local food reporter Matthew Schniper recently reported in his Side Dish with Schniper newsletter that Coleman is seeking investors to relaunch the long-time local favorite Blue Star restaurant sometime in 2024. Stay tuned for more on that. For now, start making those holiday pie plans for Gold Star Bakery or go by for a sweet-tasting preview.