The Pie Guy Entrepreneur ProfileApril 2, 2019
Keith Groomes is the owner of, The Pie Guy, a food truck and mobile catering business that specializes in handheld pies inspired from traditional dishes around the world. The Pie Guy is unique in that it only uses local ingredients, premium grass-fed beef, and free-range eggs.
Growing up in inner-city of Philadelphia, Keith has always had a love for baked goods, cheesesteaks, hoagies, and pretzels. In the early years of his childhood, Keith was obsessed with making the perfect pancake for his mother. This morphed into him being the cook of his home, making many of his dishes and sauces from scratch. When Keith attended Virginia State University he transitioned his eating habits and lifestyle. In his journey, he learned not only does food need to taste good, but it also must be good quality. In exploring food, Keith learned about veganism/vegetarianism and became a vegetarian.
It was always Keith’s aspiration to own his own business. Growing up in a single-parent home, he watched and often participated in helping his mother start and grow her businesses. Keith says “I love to incorporate quality ingredients in my dishes and knew I wanted to own a food business, so when the opportunity arose to purchase The Pie Guy, it was a perfect match”.
Keith has worked and partnered with many local food businesses, including Greenies and Carpe Donuts. Keith continues to expand his love for food and gains constant inspiration for new dishes through his worldly travels. In the next 5 years, The Pie Guy plans to expand into 2 markets, offer their products on delivery platforms, and grow their full service and corporate catering.
Keith participated in CIC’s Entrepreneur Workshop two years ago for a different business endeavor. When Keith acquired The Pie Guy, he explains that “CIC helped me develop my business plan and helped me get approved for a small business loan”. Keith says he is grateful for the marketing advice, QuickBooks support, and introduction to grant programs that CIC has given him. Keith feels that the biggest takeaway from the Entrepreneur Workshop was developing and practicing his elevator pitch, which has allowed him to effectively and briefly explain the key points of his business. Keith’s advice for other CIC entrepreneurs is to “utilize every aspect of your network, go to the workshop and work on your craft after class, be persistent, and follow up”.