Photo via istock.com/grandriver

You could call Field’s Pies a literal slice of the American Dream. The small-town Oklahoma business started in Grandma Field’s home kitchen and today, produces more than 4 million pecan pies for distribution at grocery stores in 25 states.

“Our family used to make pies for our restaurant downtown,” says Chris Field, president and third-generation owner of Field’s Pies with his sister, Jenny Wallace. “Then it got busier making pies and cakes for other restaurants in town. They opened a pie kitchen and would have people bake pies and cakes all night long.”

By 1974, the Field family opened the current pie factory off Interstate 35 in Pauls Valley, south of Oklahoma City. In 1991, the third generation took over and since has quadrupled sales.

Today, a 100-foot-long oven pumps out 35 pies per minute, about 95 percent of them pecan and the remainder German chocolate or old-fashioned lemon. More than half sell under the familiar Field’s label. Some are boxed for sale under popular name brands.

Photo via Todd Bennett/Farm Flavor Media

The Field family has employed generations of employees in Pauls Valley and likewise has served a sweet ending at generations of family dinners throughout the southwestern United States. The pies, sold frozen and fully cooked, require only rewarming for the home cook.

“I have heard from quite a few people who found out that their grandmother had been serving our pies for generations,” Field says. “A lot of them, at first, didn’t know their grandmother didn’t make these pies. She just bought them and heated them up.”

That proves quite a compliment to the family business, which remains committed to making pies the way Grandma used to. Just as in the recipe from 1922, the family uses corn syrup, cane sugar and only native pecans, the smaller ones with more flavor, Field says.

Photo by David Mudd/Farm Flavor Media

The business uses more than 1 million pounds of pecans annually, but Field would like that tonnage to increase. His goal is to operate two shifts year-round, not just during the holidays, which would double the current employment of 26. In the meantime, Oklahoma celebrates this success story that tastes as sweet as it tells.

“I still do eat a slice of pie quite often to test it,” Field says. “I’m partial to the fresh ones right off the line when they’re hot.”

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