Chelsea Frost, better known as Pie Girl, has spent the last several years building up her empire of an at-home pie business. Until recently, she dished out hundreds of pies a week from her home kitchen until finally opening her long-awaited brick-and-mortar location, but the path to this point took dedication that would break most people. With several years under her belt, a network of loyal customers and a growing social media presence, Frost is seemingly ready for the next step in her crusade to take over the pie market in New Jersey.
It all started eight years ago when Frost was working as a waitress in a local restaurant. Learning from her Mom, she loved all things baked goods and when the restaurant began preparing for Thanksgiving one year, she asked if she could help by making pies to sell. The plan was an instant success. Frost’s pies were exceptional and it took a weight off the restaurant’s shoulders. Above all, she simply loved doing it.
As Frost continued to hone her craft at the restaurant, she also began to devise a way to market her pie-making skills on her own time. She developed a business plan where she would make and sell pies out of her Hightstown home. Her outlet for business? None other than good ol’ Instagram. Through social media, Frost was able to document her business in a unique way. Customers got a behind-the-scenes look at the very pies they would enjoy and as new flavors were updated, so was her feed. With this, she built a steady base of loyal clientele (and fans).
Over three years ago, Frost left the restaurant entirely and went all-in on her business.
Now, that’s not to say it was an easy feat. Anyone who has baked a little in their day will tell you that pie is no cake walk. Pie crust—more classically known as pate brisee—requires savviness in the kitchen and the dough can be very finicky for beginners. For those who break the code, though, simple pie-making can quickly turn into an obsession.
Last Thanksgiving alone, Frost sold 240 pies to customers across the state and another couple hundred through the rest of the holidays.
Dessert isn’t the only genre of pie that Pie Girl is selling either. Savory quiches have become a fast seller in addition to her normally sweet offerings.
This is all well and good for Frost’s network of loyal followers on social media, but what about potential customers who are more or less “offline”? It is clear that the level of skill demonstrated in Frost’s products should not be limited to only the throes of social media and there was room to grow exponentially just beyond the phone screen.
Frost began looking to open a brick-and-mortar near the end of 2022 before settling on an inviting space set in the heart of Hightstown, NJ. The quaint Mercer County town was the perfect setting for her next adventure—complete with a historic downtown studded with colorful shops and the like.
So, Frost signed a lease and got down to business. She spent the next couple of months honing what would be her very own pie shop, just as she had always dreamt of.
When you walk into Frost’s newly opened shop, aptly named Pie Girl, you are immediately met with a counter featuring a variety of pies, scones and other desserts, as well as savory pastries. Truthfully speaking, you’re going to want to arrive hungry because only trying one or two things is a disservice to yourself.
Options like dark chocolate and coconut pie showcase Frost’s utter skill front and center. A rich, dark chocolate and coconut ganache fills a buttery pie crust. It is sprinkled with plenty of coconut flakes and the classic crimp around the edge of the slice encases what is a rather rich piece of dessert.
Salted honey pie touches every note that a good bite of food should. It’s salty and floral with a profound sweetness to back it all up. Texturally, the filling exists in between solid and liquid, making up what is the perfect ooey-gooey center. Personally, I think it tastes best with a cup of coffee for breakfast. “But pie isn’t breakf—” Yes it is.
Frost goes well beyond just pie, though. For example, the strawberry matcha cornmeal cake might have been one of my favorite bites at the shop. A matcha-flavored cornbread is doused in bright pink strawberry glaze. It looks like something straight out of a cartoon—bright green and pink. Don’t worry. It tastes just as great as it looks.
You shouldn’t just take it from me, Frost’s shop sold out in less than two hours on her first day open. “I’d be happy if I could sell out every day,” she told me, “no waste.” So far, she hasn’t had an issue meeting that goal, selling out each day she’s been open. It is clear early on: People flock to Frost’s shop to try her pies.
And if you thought Pie Girl would stop at pastries, you’d be dead wrong. Frost plans on implementing a takeout menu on Fridays and Saturdays for patrons at Old Hights Brewery next door. Sandwiches, fries and more are expected to be on the menu. Furthermore, this neighborly collaboration adds to the local charm of Hightstown.
From her humble beginnings baking hundreds of pies out of a standard home oven to now running a high-volume shop, Chelsea Frost hasn’t skipped a beat in her crusade to take over the New Jersey pastry market. Whether it is pie, savory scones or blondies, one thing is for certain: Pie Girl is making waves in the NJ food scene.
All photos courtesy of Jeffery Elkashab, @nj_native_photo on Instagram
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.