Walking up to Farmhouse Pottery – home of Allan Pace and his famous ceramic canoes – it appears to be just a log cabin nestled in the woods. Once inside though, it opens up into a cozy hop complete with a small cafe and patio. It was here that we came across one of the best pies we’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring. Raspberry pie is a rather novel thing – especially straight raspberry. We were intrigued. One bite had us hooked – and exploring other flavours like wild blueberry, peach and rhubarb. After chatting with the shop girl, we learned that these pies are hand-rolled by Mayor Laura Ryan, the actual, honest-to-goodness, current mayor of Mono. We had to know more! How does one have time to do all that? We reached out to the Mayor herself and this is what we learned.
Ryan runs a wholesale dessert business called Laura’s Luscious Desserts and divides her week up between council meetings and pie. When asked what makes her pies so good, she replied that hand-rolling makes a huge difference.
“I still think it makes a big difference rolling by hand, because you’re not beating the pastry up. I find it very therapeutic, while I’m rolling I can talk on the phone or think about issues coming up in the next (council) meeting.”Ryan has been baking since her early years; her mother always encouraged her to participate in events like local fairs. Then, in 1974 her family opened the Globe Restaurant in Rosemont, where Ryan learned the recipe for the pie crust that she still uses today (psst… the recipe uses lard and shortening). She got her first taste of politics when she ran for Public School Trustee, a position she won and held for 9 years. At the same time she started baking again, on the side, as a passion project. Her love of pies came full circle when she had an opportunity to make pies to be sold at the Rosemont General Store. Ryan has been the mayor of Mono for over 8 years and a part-time politician for 24. She hand-makes between 7,000 and 8,000 pies a year. You can find them at the 8 different retailers in Southern Ontario including the Hockley General Store and Farmhouse Pottery. You can purchase a warm slice or a frozen pie for later.