Sandy Pike, a Louisville native, moved to the San Francisco Bay area in her twenties and emerged herself in the local up-and-coming food scene. In the late 1960s, the West Coast was using fresh local ingredients – not realizing that a food revolution was taking place. Pike cut her teeth in this atmosphere, and has never looked back.
After years of teaching cooking classes and offering catering to the Bay Area residents, Pike move her family back to her roots in Louisville. In the early 80s, she arrived to see that the local restaurant scene was missing some of the wonderful ideas that she had picked up in Berkeley and San Francisco. Pike opened Jack Fry’s in the Highlands, and introduced Louisville to her favorite ideas from the West Coast. Jack Fry’s was an immediate success, and remains a success to this day.
Pike sold Jack Fry’s in the late 80s, then opened Café Society, an upscale Bistro in the heart of what is now the Nulu district. The elegant eatery offered a luxurious yet friendly atmosphere, and managed to not be stuffy or uptight. As usual, the real draw of Café Society was Sandy’s amazing food. Her desserts became more and more of a huge draw, and most diners would take an extra order of Pike’s sweet confections home. Over time ,the word got out and Café Society was selling out of desserts before they had even opened for the evening. In order to keep desserts in stock for the customers dining in at Café Society, Pike opened the Queen of Tarts. The rest, as they say, is history.
The success of the Queen of Tarts was a wonderful surprise, and Pike opened more locations. Louisville had a great market for fancy coffee, gourmet ice cream by the scoop, and luxurious desserts sold by the slice. Sandy received “an offer that she could not refuse”, and sold the Queen of Tarts in 2004.
Pike found herself with a passion to cook, a desire to start something new, and, for the first time in her life, a little free time. After a close family member was warned by her doctor to change her diet, Sandy began preparing healthy food and dropping it off for her relative. Pike knew that her food was going to need exceptional flavor for the patient to give up her high-fat fare. It worked, and Pike knew what her next business would be: Home Cuisine.
After years and years of cooking cutting-edge meals, with no concern for calorie counts or fat grams, Pike changed gears. “It was fun to do something different. I was just recreating the great, timeless meals that we all love, but this time, I was doing it with health in mind. It was like a puzzle, and if I put all of the pieces together properly I had a healthy meal that tasted wonderful”.
Born in Berkeley, California, Mae Pike learned to cook at her mother’s hip. Many of her early memories are based around watching her mother, Chef Sandy Pike, fine-tune her recipes.
After the Pike Family moved to Louisville, Mae became a restaurant brat, as her mother opened Jack Fry’s andCafé Society. Growing up in this industry gave Mae a bird’s eye view of cooking and running a business. Those two things would become her passions later in life.
Mae attended the University of Kentucky, and then moved west and landed in Boulder, Colorado. Her first “real job” was in the banking industry in this sleepy mountain town. After cutting her teeth in this industry, Pike decided that banking was a little to buttoned-up for her taste, and returned to the Blue Grass.
Once home, Mae jumped back into the newest family business, the Queen of Tarts, an upscale dessert and coffee café in Louisville. As the business added locations, she developed great management and customer service skills running the retail outlets. Mae decided to return to business school at Midway College as the cafés grew.
After the Pike family got “an offer they could not refuse,” the Queen of Tarts was sold. Mae was ready for a new adventure, and found herself on the Florida Gulf Coast.
The years in the hospitality industry primed Mae for the next phase of her career, and she excelled as an Event Planner for the Chiles Group on Anna Maria Island. Eight years later, she boasted record sales and glowing customer recommendations. Mae realized that it was time to come back home when she realized she could apply her successful event-planning touch to Home Cuisine.
Upon her returning to Louisville, Mae seamlessly returned to the family business, in its newest form, Home Cuisine. Her first stop was managing the kitchen and anything relating to food production. After a few years of overseeing the meals, Mae is now handling public relations and serves as Vice President of Home Cuisine.