There are drive-thrus to satisfy all types of vices: fast food, liquor, even cannabis. But perhaps the tastiest is tucked behind Liberty Bank in Granby, just off Highway 40.
Sherry Kent, owner of Showboat’s Drive By Pie, has been baking pies since the early 1990s. After a 10-year tenure as a ski bum, she followed her desire to learn how to cook and attended Western Culinary Institute (now Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts) in Portland, Oregon. After she finished school, Kent returned to Granby; her first bakery was located at Grand Lake Marina. The name Showboat’s is a reference to the Chris-Craft boats that float on the waves of Grand Lake, which are built in her home state of Michigan.
The next year, she opened a bakery in the gas station where the Kum & Go is currently located. However, it wasn’t until she relocated the pie shop to her new house that the “drive-by pie” was born.
“The person that I bought this house from said ‘you should put a drive-thru liquor store here,’” Kent says. “But I didn’t want to. I waited tables and bartended my whole life, and I really went to chef school to get away from it. But then I went, ‘Oh, you know, I sell pie. I can do drive-by pie.’”
Showboat’s Drive By Pie opened Memorial Day weekend of 2008, decked out with a wooden boat floating under the drive-thru window. Kent has delivered pies and smiles from the window of her house ever since. “I paid off chef school with apple pie,” she says.
The menu features Kent’s signature Killer Apple, mixed berry, wild Maine blueberry, cherry, chocolate pecan, and a spicy green chile apple pie. When Palisade peaches are in season, Kent makes a phenomenal peach version; around Thanksgiving, pumpkin pies are available. There are always pies for sale at the window, but pre-ordering 24 to 48 hours in advance ensures you’ll get the flavor you want. Prices range from $5 for the slice of the day to $28–$45 for a whole pie. You can also pick up loaves of cinnamon-raisin bread ($7 for a small loaf, $10 for a large loaf).
Don’t ask for Kent’s recipes, or how many pies she makes or sells—she won’t tell you. However, she will share one small secret of her success: consistency. “I weigh and measure every pie, every time,” Kent says. “I don’t want you to have a great pie one time and then, aw, it wasn’t quite as good the next time. I want it to always be the best.”
Judging by how quickly her creations fly out of the window, Kent seems to have perfected the recipe, filling the hearts and stomachs of the motorists that roll by her house one pie at the time.
If you go: Showboat’s Drive By Pie is open from Wednesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. or until the pies are gone; advanced ordering is recommended; 54 1st Street, Granby, 970-887-1111.