Filling a need: Launching pie shop business during pandemic proves worth the risk

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Black business owner in the Riverside Avondale area who launched a new business during the coronavirus pandemic said her risk has paid off.

Natasha Burton opened Mixed Fillings Pie Shop on Oak Street after moving to Jacksonville and losing her job. She originally planned to open a pie shop, but not as quickly as it happened.

“Originally we were just here doing research and development and we weren’t planning on opening until closer to the fall and we started going through our savings and my husband was like you just need to do a pop-up, go out there, go on the side of the street and sell your pies,” explained Burton.

Burton said starting a new adventure in the middle of a pandemic was scary, but a risk she was willing to take.

“It was really like we had no choice. I had to do what I had to do, and it just happened to work out,” said Burton. “The stars aligned and the universe was like, ‘It’s your time girl. Do it.‘”

Burton opened her kitchen and speak-easy style shop behind a professional make-up studio.

“We make everything from scratch,” said Burton.

Burton sells her pies pre-order online and uses social media to market her products. Customers pick them up under a tent out back.

“We’re so happy that we came here,” Burton said.

Burton credited much of her success to the community.

“When the community learned that there was a pie shop, people were so generous, they started making donations,” said Burton. “We were able to get a new refrigerator. We got our wallpaper. We got our door. It’s just been really amazing.”

Burton said the support she has received made the risk worth it. In the years to come, Burton said she hopes to use her pie shop as a platform to raise awareness for her nonprofit that helps survivors of sexual abuse.

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