Simply Pies was founded in July 2008 by friends Nancy Blau and Hana Miller. Nancy and Hana met while working in the IT department of the Superior Court of Santa Barbara. After years of sharing recipes and baking tips, Nancy and Hana decided to trade in their IT hats at the courthouse for aprons at the Pie Cottage. Now, they pursue their passions of baking and all things pie.
Nancy grew up in rural Ohio among a family of pie makers, surrounded by truly organic farm-fresh foods. She lived on property that boasted an apple and cherry tree, where she picked fruit for baking, and tended to a large vegetable garden planted annually by her family. Meat was procured from her Uncle’s cow and hog farm and eggs were gathered from a neighbor’s coop. A favorite summertime activity included orchard and strawberry picking. The joy of growing and making food from an early age instilled in the Nancy the value of gardening, cooking and baking. Today, in her own backyard, she has a hearty vegetable and herb garden, lemon and orange trees, and a rebellious blackberry vine.
After studying Business at Ohio State college, Nancy began a career in IT which brought her to California, working with the Superior Court of Santa Barbara. While living in Santa Barbara, Nancy met her husband Jeff, someone who shared her love of the outdoors. In 1996, they welcomed their daughter Amanda who, at only 2 months, joined them for hikes along the local trails. Taking a cue from their childhood experiences and shared passions, Nancy and Jeff have raised Amanda to appreciate nature and all its offerings.
Hana learned about food by watching her mother, a skilled chef (though not by trade) and fondly remembers cooking alongside her. They would make everything from cream puffs to sushi rice, always from scratch. Her mother emphasized simple and fresh ingredients as the key to delicious food. From this, the simplest recipes are many times the best became Hana’s baking philosophy.
Hana studied pre-med at UCSB and began a career in web development. Her appreciation of technical studies meshed well with her knowledge of baking and cooking. She recognized that a love of pure, whole foods combined with a love of technical and scientific analysis paired well with baking. She could appreciate the science of baking, coupling varied ingredients to see how they would react and taste. It was this marriage of specialties that led to the creation of the delicious Simply Pies crust.
Among the many different hats, and aprons, Hana wears, her greatest roles are as mother to her feisty and beautiful daughter, Kaya, and wife to an amazingly patient and loving husband, David.
Simply Pies could not exist without our fabulous team members. We are truly blessed and honored for the opportunity to work along side these talented folks!