A neurosurgeon specializes in brain surgery.
An archaeologist specializes in fossils. Robyn Poarch ’95 specializes in pies, more specifically, Porch Pies.
Poarch (pronounced like ‘porch’) graduated from Auburn with a degree in history and immediately moved to New York City. She was planning on returning to get her master’s, but she found herself set upon a slightly different path when she was disappointed in the “Big Apple’s” dessert selection.
“I moved to New York City after I graduated, and I could not find a good pecan pie anywhere. That’s the truth. Of course, I had my grandmother’s recipe, and I just started making them,” Poarch said. “Eventually, my friends were asking me if they could buy them, and that is how it started.”
Eight years later, Poarch had met and married her husband, Michael Linstroth, an actor from Florida, and was packing her bags to move to Los Angeles.
One night after a concert Poarch encountered an interesting offer.
Actress Kathy Najimy was hosting a rock concert charity benefit and suggested Poarch’s pies and business cards be included in the guests’ swag bags.
Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Ben Harper and his then-wife Laura Dern, were among other A-list guests who received a swag bag with Poarch’s delicious goods.
The following Monday, Ben Harper’s assistant called Poarch and told her “We are never sending flowers again, we have got to send your pies.”
Poarch then began filling a delivery order that included deliveries to Steven Spielberg, Courteney Cox, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.
For a while, Poarch was baking pies for celebrities who would mail them to each other.
In 2010, Poarch’s husband, Michael, joined the team and Porch Pies became a nationally recognized pie delivery service.
Up next for Poarch, Music City. A center of national shipping, Poarch said she wants to have a Porch Pies “mini” franchise in Nashville up and running by September 2016.
Although she’s heartbroken to leave Los Angeles, Poarch is excited to be closer to her family in the South.
“I think if we don’t come now my kids will miss out on the experience of the South. They have L.A. in their bones, but they need to have the Southern experience as well.”
Poarch caught wind of her family’s California inclinations while cooking dinner for New Year’s Day.
“A few years ago my son asked me if next year we could have edamame as our green instead of collard greens,” Poarch laughed. “I thought to myself, ‘Oh no, I have failed as a Southern woman.”
After all these years, pecan pie is still Poarch’s favorite. “That’s the one that started it all. You just cannot beat it.”