Sweet Emotions - 405 Magazine

Sweet Emotions

Railyard Pie Company serves the flavor of home.

Photo by Lexi Hoebing.

Railyard Pie Company serves the flavor of home. 

Lynn Muir doesn’t seem like the law-breaking type — quite the opposite, in fact — but it’s an important part of the story of Railyard Pie Company, and she said it would be OK to mention it. 

After being widowed in her first marriage and on the heels of a subsequent divorce, Muir was trying to find a way to provide for her four children.

“I didn’t think I had any marketable skills,” she said. “I loved cooking, so I started to make meals for my friends and deliver them. I didn’t know at the time that it wasn’t legal, so when I found out, I told my friends I’d have to stop. They all said, ‘We don’t care about the legality; keep the food coming.’”

She did for a while, but her growing discomfort would eventually lead to the birth of Railyard Pie Company, located in the Edmond Railyard complex at 19 W. 1st St. Prior to that, though, one of her regular customers asked her to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner at Halloween, as that would be when the whole family would be gathered.

Photo by Lexi Hoebing.

“I made the whole dinner,” Muir said, “and he asked if I could make desserts, too. I made four pies. The next day, he and his wife both called to say pies are what I should be doing. The idea of a pie company made me feel much better, because the (cottage industry) law allowed for home bakers to sell their products.” 

The company began as Manna Eatery, a reference to the story of Moses in the Hebrew Bible and his reliance on God to provide sufficient food for each day the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness. Faith is central to Muir — another reason she was very uncomfortable with the legal shenanigans. 

At one point, she was thinking about a building for her nascent company, and she looked at the corner spot on 2nd Street in Edmond that is now home to a Sunnyside Diner. The price was far more than she could afford, so she adjusted the plan. 

“Pies are wildly popular during the summer and around the holidays, but I needed steady income,” Muir said. “I guess four is my number, because I made four pies and took them into Sunnyside to talk to (owner) Shannon Roper.”

Roper liked the pies so much he told Muir that he’d happily invest in the company. Muir suddenly had her pies in Sunnyside Diner, and the beginnings of a plan to have her own fixed location. Roper also provided the advice that changed the name from Manna Eatery to Railyard Pie Company, as he believed a more “generic” name wouldn’t alienate any potential customers.

To build the first menu, Muir followed her heart and instincts. “Pie conjures so much emotion for me,” she said. “It’s what I did with my grandmother Mae in Pennsylvania as a kid. I didn’t want a variation on traditional pies for Railyard, so I followed the tried-and-true recipes my grandmother taught me.” 

In January 2022, Roper offered Muir the chance to buy him out of the company, and she brought her sister on as a partner, so her business is now family-owned. 

Photo by Lexi Hoebing.

One of the emphases of Railyard Pie Company is that ingredients are fresh and seasonal. There are year-round staples, of course — chocolate, key lime, coconut cream, etc. — but the seasonal pies are only made in the appropriate season. Seems like an obvious thing, but frozen pies in grocery stores have caused many of us to lose focus on the seasonality of desserts, as we did with other categories until farmers and chefs started reminding us in recent years. 

The butterscotch pie is a bit of an outlier, and it’s on the list because Muir ate it a lot as a kid, and she still loves it. Rightly so. The menu also includes savory pies; they’re made in a way that, per Muir, “they stick close to what pie looks like,” which is to say quiche and quiche-esque. Starting this month, though, she’ll be introducing potpies.

“I’ll likely start with a traditional beef and stout,” Muir said. “It’s our second anniversary, so it’s a good time to introduce something new.”

More than anything else, though, Muir wants her spot to be a place where people feel comfortable, as if they were in her home kitchen. Thus the open kitchen concept of Railyard Pie Company. 

“I want to help people build relationships, and I want them to feel cared about and welcome in the space,” she said. “I’m not really an evangelist — the direct approach makes me uncomfortable — but providing a spot where people are known and loved is important to me.”