Hubig's Pies

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Hubig's Pies
Hubig's Pies Savory Simon.png
Hubig's Pies mascot "Savory Simon"
Restaurant information
Established 1922
Current owner(s) Bowman & Ramsey Families
Food type Fruit Pies
Dress code None
Rating 5/5 stars Yelp.com, 2009
Street address 2417 Dauphine Street
City New Orleans
State LA
Country United States
Seating capacity 0
Reservations not needed
Website www.hubigs.com

Hubig's Pies, also sometimes called Hubig's New Orleans Style Pies, are a brand of fruit and sweet-filled fried pies that were produced by the Simon Hubig Pie Company in New Orleans, Louisiana. The product has been off the market since a fire destroyed the factory in 2012. Originally, the company announced that it would quickly re-build and re-open, but disagreements between the co-owners have so far held up any work on a new Hubig's factory, and it is unclear, whether production will ever resume.[1]

History[edit]

1922 New Orleans newspaper advertisement for "Hubig's Famous Honey-Fruit Pies".

Simon Hubig was born in Spain's Basque Country and immigrated to the United States after serving in World War I.[2][3] He founded the Simon Hubig Pie Company in Fort Worth, Texas in 1922, capitalizing on baking skills he learned at his mother's bakery.[4] In subsequent years, the company expanded to nine locations throughout the Southeastern United States and opened its New Orleans location in 1922.[5] During the Great Depression, all of the locations were forced to close except the New Orleans bakery, which remained profitable.[6] Throughout the life of the company, the New Orleans bakery stayed in the same Dauphine Street location in the Faubourg Marigny it was founded in.[4] In the 1950s, the Ramsey family became majority owners of the company, eventually bringing in the Bowman family during the 1970s.[citation needed]

Old Hubig's Pies factory on Dauphine Street, 2008

Operations[edit]

The production process changed very little over time. Before Hurricane Katrina, in addition to the famous turnover-style pie, Hubig's also made individual and family-sized pies. They offered a 100% guarantee on all their merchandise and bought back compromised pies to maintain quality, and frequently donated fresh products to charitable organizations in the area. The Orleans Parish jail was traditionally one of the largest buyers of pies. Until the end, the Hubig bakery remained heavily reliant on laborers rather than automated processes.

Savory Simon[edit]

Savory Simon is the mascot of Hubig's pies, and he was prominently featured on the packaging and some advertising for their pies.

Hurricane Katrina aftermath[edit]

When the city of New Orleans was struck by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the bakery's ventilation system, an exterior wall, and the roof were damaged. Production of Hubig's pies was halted and did not start again until more than four months later, January 4, 2006, after the neighborhood had clean water, reliable electricity, and sufficient gas pressure. Hubig's pies increased slightly in cost after the storm, and the variety of flavors offered changed. About 30,000 hand-sized pies were made a day to be delivered on the next day.[5]

Fire and failed re-opening efforts[edit]

On July 27, 2012, a fire broke out at the bakery. Flames were seen coming from the front of the building at about 4:30 a.m. The fire grew to five alarms, engulfing the factory. A little more than an hour after the first firefighters arrived, the facade of the building crumbled. No one was hurt, but the facility was a total loss. Co-owner Andrew Ramsey originally said he planned to rebuild and resume production as soon as possible,[7] and in 2013, the city approved plans by Hubig's to build a factory in a new location.[8] The efforts eventually stalled, however, before any construction work had started.[9] In 2014, Ramsey stated that he could not "give [...] even a tentative date" for a return of Hubig's,[10] because the company's owners were "not in concert about how to proceed". He added that while he himself would favour a re-opening, he had "no control over whether that happen[ed]."[1] As of summer 2015, there has been no construction work on a new factory,[9] the company's web site is unreachable,[11] and its official Facebook page has not been updated for more than two years.[12]

In April 2015, the New Orleans City Planning Commission approved plans to construct residential buildings on the site of the former Hubig's factory.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McNulty, Ian (30 November 2014). "Hubig Pie Co. manager on possible reopening: ‘I have no good news to report’". The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ McMains, Frank. "Flaky Ephemera: Hubig's Pies". Country Roads. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Nossiter, Adam (10 January 2006). "And Hubig's Said, Let Them Eat Pie". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Van Syckle, Katie. "The Story of Hubig's Pies: Simon Survives". The Gambit. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Guas, David; Raquel Pelzel (2009). DamGood Sweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style. Newtown, Connecticut: Taunton Press. pp. 60–64. ISBN 978-1-60085-118-6. 
  6. ^ "Blake Pontchartrain: New Orleans Know It All". The Gambit. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Hubig's Pie factory burns; iconic building a 'total loss'". WDSU News. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Eggler, Bruce (20 June 2013). "Hubig's Pies' proposed move to Press Street site wins City Council approval". nola.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Still no Hubig's Pies three years after devastating fire". fox8live.com. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Price, Todd A. "Rebuilding of Hubig's Pies continues at a 'snail's pace'". www.nola.com. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  11. ^ hubigs.com http://www.hubigs.com.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Hubig's Pies – The Official Page". facebook.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Sayre, Katherine (16 April 2015). "Former Hubig's Pie site soon to be home to condos". nola.com. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 

External links[edit]