TAMPA — Vivian Clark's passion for Cajun cooking originated from her roots as a Louisiana native.
She shared her specialty, Cajun crawfish pies, at a friend's party back in 1998 and ever since they have been in high demand.
She began making them for special requests and as their popularity grew, Clark retired in 2008 and decided to make it into a business: Vivian's Pies, which is short for Vivian's Cajun Crawfish Pies, LLC.
"When I retired I was bored," Clark said.
"I was making these pies on the side for my friends, and everyone just said why don't you make it a business."
She started Vivian's Pies in June of 2010 commercially in a certified kitchen, and now at 76 she runs a successful business selling her beloved pies in many Fresh Markets across the Tampa Bay area.
Vivian's Pies were first available to the public at a farmers market in Ybor City, but now are found in about 10 specialty food markets.
Some of these stores include Cox Seafood Market on Dale Mabry Highway, I.C. Sharks in St. Petersburg, and fresh markets in Carrollwood, at Wiregrass and throughout South Tampa.
Also, the first Sunday of each month, Clark sells her famous pies at Hyde Park Fresh Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and she ships her pies throughout various states.
The pies are available in four different sizes, a six-pack with 4-ounce pies, one 8-ounce pie, a 12-ounce and a 32-ounce family size pie.
The recipe to her signature pie is a family secret that she has passed down to her granddaughter, Ashley Clark, who is now involved in the business, but Clark says they are made with a Cajun rule: no fillers.
"When you get a bite of my pies, you get spicy crawfish in every bite," Clark said.
Prices for her pies vary on the size. A mini pack of six four-ounce pies cost $35 to $49, an eight ounce cost $13 to $16, a 12 ounce cost $21 and a 32 ounce family size costs $49.
For more information visit vivianspies.com or call (813) 317-4367.
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