Just a few years ago, Mosiah Fit was living out of a van, selling his homemade pies from a wagon he pulled along the streets of Baltimore.
“This journey dates back to 2019,” said Fit. “I was just walking the streets everyday hustling my pies in the rain, ice, it didn’t matter, and I still do it. Going through all of that and seeing the development of what it has become is amazing. It’s emotional. It’s powerful. It lets me know I should never give up on anything I set my mind to.”
What Fit was determined to do was to have an indoor retail space to sell his pies. That goal recently came to fruition with the opening of Grandma Louise Pies, owned and operated by Fit. Grandma Louise’s Pies is the first business from the Avenue Market Pop Up Shop Program, a partnership between Baltimore Public Markets Corporation (BPMC) and Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street.
On Friday, January 28, 2022, BPMC celebrated the opening of Grandma Louise Pies at Avenue Market with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Having an indoor space that is stable and safe from the elements is great,” said Fit, noting his pies were inspired by the business’ namesake— his grandmother Mary Louise Glanding, who taught him how to make pies.
“My Grandmother Louise was the matriarch of the family,” said Fit. “Everybody in West Baltimore would come to her house for pies. My grandfather taught me how to make the crust. In Woodlawn, there’s a bakery that’s closed called Louise’s Bakery. When I was a little boy, my grandmother would take me there to get strawberry danishes.
“The name Louise is still on top of the bakery. When I ride by there, I always think about my grandmother and believe it’s sitting there waiting for somebody to come. That’s my next mission. But I always knew that one day I would have a place where people would come for these pies and to engage and socialize.”
Grandma Louise’s Bakery has over 20 varieties of pies including, Bean; Sweet Potato; Apple; Strawberry; Banana; Mango; Chocolate Crème; Seafood Alfredo; Chicken Alfredo; Chicken Noodle; Veggie; Butternut Squash; Crab; Lentil; and Tomato Stew, according to Fit.
While the Grand Opening recently took place, Fit said Grandma Louise Pies at Avenue Market has been open since January 3, 2022. He said his wife Yvette and other family members work at his stall.
“Business has been beautiful,” said Fit, who is a graduate of Coppin State University. “The same community who supported us from day one is still supporting us.”
The Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street Program is a community-based commercial revitalization project of Baltimore Main Streets, which provides customized support and public resources to designated neighborhood business districts. Fit talked about Nakeisha Turner, Manager of Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street.
“Nakeisha Turner noticed me out of the streets selling pies,” recalled Fit, who also said he plans to start a youth apprentice program. “Ms. Turner told me they were looking for vendors for the stalls. I contacted her, and she did just what she said she could do.”
Turner also talked about the 31-year-old Fit.
“I’m excited about our partnership with Baltimore Public Markets to help develop Black businesses,” said Turner. “Mosiah Fit, owner of Grandma Louise Pies and the work he has done in the community to spark entrepreneurship, is an excellent addition to Avenue Market.”
Unique among American cities, Baltimore’s communities have successfully sustained a network of six public markets that all serve their surrounding neighborhoods. Lexington Market, the city’s largest market and the longest continuously operating public market in the country, is the anchor of these institutions, and is joined by five other smaller neighborhood markets, which include The Avenue Market located at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“We are excited to welcome the first business to benefit from our partnership with Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street,” says Paul Ruppert, president/CEO Baltimore Public Markets. “This initiative supports BPMC’s mission to support small businesses in Baltimore.”
The Avenue Market Pop-Up Shop program application opened in fall 2021, and will continue to offer retail vendors short-term lease opportunities.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the seven remaining vendor spaces are leased. Interested vendors can contact [email protected] for more information.
Fit says Grandma Louise’s Pies is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. “Stay true to who you are,” Fit advises aspiring entrepreneurs. “Also stay loyal to your vision.”