Califonia Bountiful

Success is easy as pie

Family-run business thrives in San Diego County

Just a short drive from San Diego is the small mountain town of Julian. People come from miles away to find some of the best apples around, either fresh or baked in a pie. And if it's a pie you're hungry for, there's only one place to go: the Julian Pie Company.

The Julian Pie Company became a reality for Liz Smothers in 1986. It all started when she and a neighbor began peeling apples for a local pie shop, where she was soon employed to bake and sell pies. Tim, one of her sons, worked after school rolling dough as well.

Recognizing her expertise, two other pie shops hired Liz to bake for them. While she enjoyed baking, she had a desire to be creative on her own and to not merely bake someone else's pie.

With the assistance of a friend, and an emphasis on quality control and sourcing the best ingredients, the Julian Pie Company began in Liz's own kitchen and has since grown into two thriving retail locations in San Diego County.

On any given day, you will find Dave, her oldest son, managing the Julian shop and Tim, the youngest son, heading operations at the Santa Ysabel location. Liz continues to oversee the quality-control portion of the business, as well as customer satisfaction.

Liz says the highest compliment is when people claim her family's pies taste just as good as the ones their moms and grandmas make. And as long as people keep coming back for more, those responsible for the tasty pies will continue to try to keep the rich tradition alive.

For more information about the Julian Pie Company, visit

Follow us on: Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest Pinterest