Who are we?
Sullie – Executive Weirdo Do-Gooder, on a mission to change the world with the power of pie. Primary driver and blogger, married to Chris
Chris – Vice Weirdo Do-Gooder, baking assistant. Primary navigator and secondary driver, married to Sullie.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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.