FAQ/About Us

Who are we?

Sarah – Executive Weirdo Do-Gooder, on a mission to change the world with the power of pie. Primary driver and blogger, engaged to Chris

Chris – Vice Weirdo Do-Gooder, baking assistant. Primary navigator and secondary driver, engaged to Sarah.

Shalosh – Border Collie, terrible co-pilot, terrible sous-chef, but great dog.

Gracie – 1999 Silverado 2500

Wagon House – Our custom camper, home away from home, and Command Central!

No, really, WHO are you?

We’re just regular people who got tired of complaining about the state of the world and decided to do something about it.  We’re not affiliated with any religious organization or political party, because we believe being kind to each other and sharing should transcend groups and labels.  We’ll work with anyone and we’ll share pie with anyone.

What are you doing?

We traveled across the US for 6 months, covering 12,000 miles from March 3 to September 2 of 2013, and gave away over 200 free pies to spread a message of kindness and generosity.  Now we are settled back in Michigan, and we are working on starting our 501c3.  Our plan is to buy a food truck and travel around Michigan with the first ever (that we know of) donation model foods truck!  We’ll be serving pies of all kinds for 10 cents or 10 dollars, whatever a person can afford.

How did this start?

I started baking and giving away free pie with Chris in Ann Arbor’s Liberty Plaza in July of 2012.  After 18 weeks, we made the decision to temporarily suspend pie production to hibernate in the face of the cold weather and make plans for the epic cross country pie tour.

Are you on Facebook and Twitter?

Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/PieItForwardUSA or on twitter @pieitforwardusa .  You can also email us – pieitforwardoccupie@gmail.com

Is that a Vardo on your truck?

No, it’s not.  Vardos were the vehicles/dwellings used by some Romani, Romanichal, Irish and Scottish Travellers.  Although the blueprints were originally sold under the name “Vardo” by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, what I have is not a Vardo, it’s a little house bolted to a truck.  Actually, the use of the word and structure “Vardo” as part of a romanticized “gypsy” lifestyle is chock-full of cultural appropriation and is very problematic.  It’s a little late for me to make any changes now, but I made a very poor choice and I contributed to the stereotyping of an already oppressed group of people.  I would strongly urge anyone else considering this type of structure to please please find an alternative design, and to stop using the word “gypsy” as a synonym for free-spirited, adventurous, or spontaneous.

Do you make the pies in the truck?

No, we make the pies at different host houses we find along the way.  We’re basically the most benevolent parasite ever – we come into your house, take over your kitchen, bake a half dozen or so pies, leave a couple pies for you, and disappear into the wild blue yonder!

How are you funded?

Donations!  We accept donations of materials like apples, flour, sugar, and butter in person.  We also have a little jar for coins and cash at all of our events, and we have a Paypal button on our “Donation” page.

Wouldn’t it have been more fuel efficient to get a smaller car/get a traditional slide in camper/hire a team of goats/stay home and do nothing?

Yes to all.  However, we’ve thought about many of the possibilities and we have rebuttals to many of them.

Could we have done this road trip with a smaller car and brought camping equipment? Yes, we could have done that.  It would have involved a lot more set up and tear down time, along with increased discomfort and exposure to the elements.

Could we have purchased a traditional slide in camper? Yes, we could have done that.  But I’ve been dreaming of Tumbleweed tiny houses and circus trains and covered wagons for at least a decade now.  The Wagon House has form and function.  And since it’s built like, well, a tiny house, complete with R 17 insulation, we actually can live in it even in the frozen winters of Michigan, if we choose to.

Could we have just stayed home, kept our jobs, and donated money to a worthy cause? Yes, we could have done that too.  But we crave direct action, and we value travel and exposure to new people and new ways of life.  We’re not just giving away pie, we’re gaining a valuable first hand education.

How much did the Wagon House cost to build?

Between $6000 and $8000 dollars.  It was built over the course of 6 months by one incredibly talented man in his spare time.  If you live in Michigan and you’re interested in your own tiny house, we can furnish you with his contact information.

How many miles to the gallon do you get?

Probably 10 to 12.  The truck has a 30 gallon tank and we try not to let the tank dip below 1/4, by which point we’ve usually traveled 250 miles.  An air-dam would help our fuel economy, but we haven’t found one yet.

Who inspires you?

Daniel Suelo of the blog zerocurrency, who has been living completely without money for years.

John and Kait, of the blog dogblogusa, who spent 2012 walking across the USA with their dogs raising awareness for service and therapy dogs.

And Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose “Factory” speech was the original inspiration for our maniFEASTo.

33 thoughts on “FAQ/About Us

  1. Hi Sarah,
    Steve here from delonis. I just put your website on my desktop and look forward to your blogs. What a fascinating trip your having and have you thought of a book title yet? You should journalize this. any more pics to share love to have seen the sunrise out west take care Steve

  2. You guys are great. Keep it up and ignore all nay-saying negative comments. I like your home and your mission. I once had a big ridiculous 7000 sq. ft. mansion house before my ex surprise divorced me about 4 years ago. The process lasted 2 years and wore me out. I have been traveling and living off the grid (Mx., Cent. Am., CA, etc.) for the last two years and am looking at something like what you have. I`m happy, relaxed and free.. BTW now. :)
    God Bless. I hope I get to try some of that pie someday. I like pie.

  3. I’ve just nominated you for a Liebster Award! (This means I really like your blog!)

    You can see the post here:
    http://wateringcanblog.com/2013/05/12/my-first-blogging-award/
    if you would like to post about this award and pass on the blogging love, here are the official rules:

    1. Each blogger should post 11 facts about himself or herself.
    2. Each blogger should answer the questions that are asked by the person doing the nominating.
    3. Choose 11 bloggers to nominate for the Award and link to them in the post. (I’ve seen Liebsters requiring 3-5 nominations, so don’t feel confined to this number.)
    4. Create new questions for your nominees.
    5. Go back to their pages and tell them they’ve been nominated. To complete your qualification for the award, create a new post announcing
    the award, then answer the following questions:

    1. Why did you start blogging?
    2. What book are you currently reading?
    3. What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?
    4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    5. Who is your greatest inspiration?
    6. Share one thing that has changed the way you blog.

  4. I’m amazed at what you’ve accomplished. That you have found a way to use your generous nature as an anchor that keepyou stable and grounded is both inspiring and reassuring. After everything you’ve been through, it’s heartwarming to see that you’ve found such happiness, and you deserve it.

    Keep the hope alive. Keep dreaming, and reaching, and achieving. Build that better world, one pie at a time if you have to. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.

      • Well, Boston Metro anyway, but on public transport. Drop me an email when you’re ready to figure out details? carbonatedwit at gmail dot com. If I’m not the right kind of fringy I might be able to help you find the right people. For pie and awesomeness!

  5. Pingback: Want some free pie? Michigan group traveling the country with dessert making stop in Birmingham | Alabama

  6. Just saw y’all in chapel hill and first time hearing about y’all! How exciting! Sorry we missed y’all in Arkansas!

  7. Pingback: » One Reason to Visit NW: FREE Pie in Chinatown Wednesday Titan Of Trinidad

  8. Pingback: Pie It Forward USA! | Blueberry Girls Miracle

  9. Senator Warren who forgot to mention that the factory owner also pays taxes that built those roads. What about the local bakers? How do they pay their rents and wages and utility bills is people get pie for free from you?

    • Throughout our road trip, I made very sure that we never set up in an area where we might take away business from any local bakers or other shops. Typically, however, the people we serve most often are not people who can afford to buy anyone’s pie at all.

  10. You guys are awesome! As a humanist, I appreciate those who bravely dig deep to find their own humanity and inspire their fellow human beings to follow suit. Ignore the silly naysayers on this thread, you don’t owe them any answers or replies. To give someone unfortunate a moment’s worth of happiness and sustenance creates an infinite amount positive energy in the world/universe. When the first financial opportunity arises, I plan to donate. Blessings for your efforts, keep churning out the good pie karma!

  11. Sarah, I never knew you had such a gift for the written word. Your blog entries are really well written. (In this age of texting errors, that’s becoming rare.) It sounds like you and Chris are doing a lot of good. You’ve inspired me to throw together a care package for you of stuff you may need for the less fortunate or your operation in general. You’ll just have to let me know where to bring it.

    I’ve included the address for my blog. It’s not saving the world but maybe I can make a few people laugh.

    – Chris

  12. I was behind the wagon house on the southeast side of town this morning as I was on my way to work. I snapped a picture at the corner of Ellsworth & Carpenter because I was so curious about the adorable little “house” on the back of the truck. :)

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