Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 10, 2011

Son of Puckett's Pies founders open shop

By Daniel Human
Tribune business writer

— The adage is true: There isn’t much that’s as American as apple pie.

The pastry was something Alyona Puckett wasn’t introduced to until she moved to the U.S. from her native Russia.

“I’d never had it. I didn’t know what it was,” she said as she stood near a flour-coated table inside the new business she owns with her husband.

After settling in the U.S., she married into a Kokomo family with a legacy surrounding the oven-baked sweet treat. Her husband, Dave Puckett, comes from a family that has sold pies for more than a half-century. His parents began Puckett’s Pie Shop, which Dave’s brother now operates at the corner of North Street and Apperson Way.

Dave Puckett learned pie-making techniques from his parents, but pursued a career outside of bakeries. After he left his previous job, he decided we wanted to open his own business, he said. So he went with what he knew from his youth.

Dave and Alyona Puckett, along with their sons, opened Mom’s Pie Shop in February. They plan to have a grand opening Tuesday.

Puckett has taken the recipes he learned at age 18 from his mother — the “Mom” referred to in the shop’s name — and tweaked them, he said as he stood in his self-renovated storefront on LaFountain Street.

As he spoke around mid-afternoon in late March, he stood over a nearly-empty pie case because customers had bought almost everything baked that day.

While the recipes are similar to his family’s originals, Puckett emphasized Mom’s is separate from his parent’s original enterprise

Business has begun to pick up since Dave and Alyona Pucketts opened their shop in late February. It is a good omen, Dave Puckett said, because he and his wife hadn’t yet advertised.

Mom’s menu features two dozen recipes, with everything from the traditional apple and cherry to less common flavors like pineapple or raisin.

“If we’ve got a good recipe for it, we’ll make it,” Puckett said.

A favorite so far, Puckett said, was one that was a top selection at Puckett’s Pie Shop, sugar cream pie.

About 30 pies come out of Mom’s kitchen every day. They sell for $9.50 each and $6 for miniature ones. A few options with more expensive ingredients, such as pecan or black raspberry pies, cost $12.50.

Once Mom’s has “perfected” the pastries, the Pucketts plan to serve “everything dessert.”

In the cases and on the shelves, they plan to have cookies, candies and fudge, along with other treats.

Savory food selections are also a possibility, the Pucketts said. Customers have begun inquiring about chicken pot pies, they said.

Some side selections are already available at Mom’s, including homemade preserves and a Russian tea that Alyona Puckett chose. The owners said they selected the tea because its has a bolder flavor than what American grocery stores typically offer.

• Daniel Human is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. He can be reached

at 765-454-8570 or

at daniel.human@

kokomotribune.com.