The Final Slice
Holly Ricciardi’s Renowned Philadelphia Pie Shop Magpie Closing Its Doors on December 24th
It has been just over six years since Holly Ricciardi opened the doors of her celebrated artisanal pie shop, Magpie, which has produced and sold more than 30,000 pies since debuting on September 1 of 2012. After an extremely successful run saw Ricciardi do more with her business than she could have ever dreamed of, Holly has decided that December 23rd will be the final day of service at Magpie, which will be wrapping up operations at 1622 South Street in Philadelphia.
Ready to move onto her next adventure, Ricciardi’s closing of Magpie isn’t your typical going-out-of-business story. Ricciardi accomplished more than she ever expected upon opening the shop. She isn’t being forced to close, nor is the artisanal pie shop losing money. According to Holly, it’s a very bittersweet moment, as she adored building Magpie and serving all the people of Philadelphia who showed up seeking sweet and savory seasonal pies or enrolled in her monthly pie classes. She said that “it’s just time to move on.”
“When I decided to open Magpie, it was to bring Philadelphia something it didn’t have yet, as well as to challenge myself,” Ricciardi said. “This was something I had never done before, and my measure of success was to truly inspire the love for pie and baking that I have accomplished. Magpie was a huge success in regard to that, and I gained an opportunity to expand that with a cookbook and then even further with the introduction of pie classes. Magpie gave me a direct connection to the people in the region who want to bake, and for that I will be forever grateful. While closing the shop is bittersweet, I have accomplished all that I have ever wished for by creating Magpie, and I have so many wonderful memories from these incredible six-plus years, as I hope others do, too.”
The success of the shop wasn’t short on challenges, including bringing a truly artisanal pie shop to life in a city without one. How Philly would respond to an establishment that sold nothing but pie was something which Ricciardi claims she was unsure of when she first opened. It was also the first time she launched a culinary venture, so it was a step into uncharted territory for Holly, who claims that her least favorite part of the job was all of the oven burns she accumulated over the years. “Hey, it’s part of the job, and now I have a few scars to remind me how amazing this journey was,” she joked.
On the city she baked for over the last six-plus years, Ricciardi said, “Philly has a vibrant and ever-changing, amazing food scene. That’s what I love about this town. My biggest surprise was how people took to the shop, to our pies, and how we became part of their lives. Scores of people had their first dates at Magpie — several got engaged here — and many featured our pies at their weddings and baby showers. People even shared the memory of a lost loved one who loved our pie. It was a really special chapter in my life which I’ll always treasure.”
“My favorite part of the journey was reintroducing, and sometimes completely introducing people to pie, as well as teaching and inspiring people to make pie. I really enjoyed learning about our customers’ baking memories. Everyone in our classes had a fond memory of baking, and it was really fulfilling to make that connection with people.”
What’s next for Ricciardi? “The future has endless possibilities…just like pie,” she said with a smirk.
Purchase Holly Ricciardi’s cookbook (Running Press), Magpie: Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia’s Favorite Pie Boutique, from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0762454539/ref=cm_sw_su_dp. Learn more about Magpie by visiting http://www.iLuvMagpie.com.