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Fasano Pies making a comeback

Peter Fasano grandsJoseph Francis Fasano is relaunching pie company which went out business some 25 years ago with Pies by

Peter Fasano, grandson of Joseph Francis Fasano, is relaunching the pie company, which went out of business some 25 years ago, with Pies by Fasano. | Donna Vickroy~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 28, 2011 6:21PM

Is there a South Side long-timer who doesn’t remember Fasano Pies?

“I remember my mom getting the pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving,” said Diane Macek, of Chicago’s Southwest Side. “And my kids always wanted a banana, strawberry whipped cream pie from Fasano’s instead of a cake for their birthdays.”

Seems everybody has a Fasano story, said Peter Fasano, grandson of Joseph Francis Fasano, who started the business from a pie wagon in 1927. In 1946, the senior Fasano opened Fasano and Sons plant in Bedford Park. For years the company flourished. Fasano bought the Pellar Pie Co. in 1950 and mastered the cream pie under various labels, including Lloyd J. Harris and Saugatuck.

“People think we were just a South Side company, but our pies were in 48 states,” said Peter, a former Chicago Board of Trade broker. “Not a day goes by when somebody doesn’t tell me a Fasano pie story. Now, I want to create new stories.”

Peter is relaunching the pie company, which went out of business some 25 years ago, with Pies by Fasano. He bakes cherry, apple, pumpkin and blueberry pies in a rented kitchen and delivers them to customers, restaurants and stores. He is currently scouting for a permanent location for his bakery.

He also partners with organizations for fundraisers. His colorful pie truck recently rolled into the parking lot at St. Joseph School in Summit to make deliveries for an “easy-as-pie” fundraiser.

Sheila Ciraulo and her daughter, Carly, drove in from LaGrange to pick up their order for cherry and blueberry pies.

“My dad was a fireman, he used to pick up pies at the store (inside the plant),” Ciraulo said.

She also recalled how customers used to be able to buy broken pies for $2. “Oh, my gosh, they were really good,” she said.

Peter’s dad, Joseph Jr., known affectionately as Joe Pies, used to tell his son that, “Once you got pie in your blood, you can’t get rid of it.”

Now that his children are grown, Peter said, he has time to devote to the bakery industry.

Besides, Peter said, pie is big now.

“I will make a go of this,” he said. “I’m charging $16 for a 9-inch pie. People out there are charging $4 for a single cupcake.”

Linda Marsink, who lives near Midway Airport, remembers going to the Fasano store with her dad in the 1970s.

“My mother recently passed away and we came across a Fasano pie tin in her things,” she said.

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