Another Piece of the Pie

Assistant producer Candice Kelly interviews Kristen Mullins for the Startup Stage podcast. Photo by Fancy This Photography

Kristen Mullins knows good pie. Her small, family-owned business, Slice Pie Company, has focused on providing its patrons with quality desserts and noteworthy customer service for six years now.

“We’re really passionate about what we’re doing,” Mullins said.

Slice Pie Company’s key lime pie is a sweet summer favorite. Photo by Bohío Fine Art Photography

With hopes to expand her business beyond the temporary pop-up location in downtown Raleigh, Mullins is reaching out to investors via the Startup Stage Podcast, hosted by Sharon Delaney McCloud.

The podcast is set up much like the hit television show, “Shark Tank,” where budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas, inventions or services to four venture capitalists, hoping for their big-break  a “Yes” from an investor to support their business.

In February, Mullins met with Robbie Hardy of xElle Ventures, Grant Williard of JouleBug, Tim McLoughlin of Cofounders Capital and Keith Daniel of Resilient Ventures to tell them about Slice Pie Company. The podcast will be released today, May 5.

“She’s like the Julia Child or Ree Drummond of the Triangle,” McCloud said, introducing Mullins in the podcast.

This is the first time Mullins was asked about nitty-gritty number details, like venture capital and margins, rather than her pies and their community ties.

“I’m usually interviewed for more of the exciting, fluffy stuff what we’re doing in the town  but this was pure business,” Mullins said. “We got to tell our story, but we also talked money.”

Mullins’ goal is not only to expand, but to make her pies more accessible for her customers locally and nationwide. To do this, she’s had to rethink how Slice Pie Company operates.

“The newer generations don’t want to communicate with businesses,” she said. “They just want to point, click and be done with it. So I know I’m missing a huge demographic just because of automation. Something that seems so simple, I really think is going to make a huge difference.”

Mullins is excited to release the shop’s new website, where online orders get automatically thrown into the mix. Instead of having to work one-on-one with each customer, she will be able to spend more time baking and running the business.

“We’re testing it and it’s going really well,” Mullins said. “Even, crazy enough, during coronavirus, our sales are up.”

Once the new website is up and running, the turnaround time will only be about 48 hours between placing the order and it showing up at your doorstep.

“This is just the beginning,” Mullins said in the podcast. “We know what we’re doing. We know what we’re sitting on. We knew how to make a successful business, and so now it’s just about taking it to the next level, so we’re excited to see what happens.”

Listen to the podcast and stay up to date with Kristen Mullins’ journey by subscribing to the Startup Stage Podcast.

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