Kendra Begly-Eicher:
Living the Sweet Life

Kendra lives in Sturgis where she makes pies and turnovers for friends and family as well as for the family blueberry farm on Findley Road. She and her husband will be running the blueberry farm for the first time this summer, where they will also be selling jams and jellies from locally grown fruit. Be sure to stop in or contact Kendra about pie orders at 269-503-3808 or kendraeicher@gmail.com.

Story and photos by Amy Frost



Did someone special teach you how to make pies? My late Mother-in-law, Loretta Eicher, taught me and my two sister-in-laws how to make pies. I remember calling her in the beginning for advice and instead of just telling me what to do, should would drop everything and come help me. It was a special time with her.
What's your earliest pie making memory? My first memory was with my mother-in-law in her kitchen. We loved eating her pies and she thought it was time for us to learn for ourselves.
Have you ever had a pie making disaster? YES! I have had two quiet recently unfortunately. I have been making raspberry cream pies for quite awhile now, but I had never made 4 batches at once. The raspberry filling just wouldn’t set up. I wasted a lot of raspberries, which we picked ourselves. I learned that you have to do one batch at a time. The other one was a huge cranberry pie disaster.
What's your favorite pie to eat? Hmmm ... I really love most of the pies. I think raspberry cream is a favorite but I really do love most of them!
On a scale from 1-10, how much do your kids like pie? It depends on which kid you ask! Carson is a 20! He loves pie and if I make pies for someone and don’t make him one, he is bummed. Addison doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth so she thinks she just likes apple pie! Recently she discovered she likes raspberry cream too! Weston will eat any pie but doesn’t eat much of the crust.
What's your advice for making the perfect pie crust? It is all about the feel for me when I am mixing the dough. My husband has mixed the dough for me and it just wasn’t right. I have an amazing family recipe and it is just a perfect crust - it’s flakey and delicious.**
How many pies to you think you make every year for friends and family? Last year I made about 550 pies for friends, family, and to sell at our family blueberry patch. I also made about that many blueberry turnovers too!
What's the best place to go to get pie filling ingredients? We pick our own fruit from local farms. The blueberries always come from our family blueberry farm. I really enjoy making pies and other desserts. It is a great thing for me as a stay-at-home mom! My kids and husband help pick the fruit so we are making family memories while gathering the ingredients for the pies. My husband is very involved in the pie process - it's something we enjoy doing together! My 7 year old daughter has taken more of an interest lately and has even made and sold her own mini pies.

**Author's Note: Kendra was nice enough to give me the pie she made during our photoshoot, and I can personally attest that they are delicious!!



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