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Bye, pies: Magpie closing on South Street after 6 years

Holly Ricciardi says it's time to move on after 30,000-plus pies.

Holly Ricciardi of Magpie with a slice of one of the 30,000 pies she sold during six years at 1622 South St.
Holly Ricciardi of Magpie with a slice of one of the 30,000 pies she sold during six years at 1622 South St.Read moreCourtesy Magpie (custom credit) / COURTESY MAGPIE

After baking and selling 30,000 pies over six years, Holly Ricciardi says Dec. 23 will be the finale of her shop, Magpie, at 1622 South St.

Ricciardi, who comes from a family of bakers and who founded the branding agency 20Nine with husband Greg in 2002, says she isn’t being forced to close or is losing money.

She explains simply that it’s time to move on. Her line of sweet pies included sour cherry almond streusel; salted chocolate meringue; and orange blossom peach raspberry, and her savories included croque monsieur; spinach dill feta; ham potato leek; and chicken tarragon.

In a statement, she said: “When I decided to open Magpie, it was to bring Philadelphia something it didn’t have yet, as well as to challenge myself. 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 [Magpie: Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia’s Favorite Pie Boutique] 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.”

Reflecting on what she called Philadelphia’s “vibrant and ever-changing, amazing food scene," she said: "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.”

Meanwhile, Ricciardi shares how to make a great pie crust.