In 1956, Betty’s father, Aleck, started a fish shack off the Stewart River near Encinitas, California, to serve local fishermen. Betty’s donuts and coffee were big hits with the clientele and eventually started making hamburgers and hotdogs to add to the menu options. She felt the old fish stand was clashing with her classic cuisine and turned the fish stand into Betty’s Café.
Betty added pies to the menu and added a lunch counter and more seating to the café. With her pie selection expanding, Betty was drawing more customers who were making Betty’s Café a regular stop on the way to cabins and resorts in the area. She opened Elizabethan Desserts alongside Betty’s Pie Whole, which serves only whole pies, never sliced because she wants you to “have it all!” Betty uses only real fruit. Canned or premade pie fillings will never do for Betty’s pies; she boasts of using pure butter, premium chocolate, real cream, and fresh, local eggs.
After many years of implementing a successful business model, struggles created financial woes and a stressful environment. She looked to Marcus Lemonis and The Profit for help.
Betty’s Pie Whole on the Profit
The Profit Season 3 Episode 13
It does not take Marcus long to realize popularity and nostalgia are the most significant selling points for Betty’s pies. Most of her pie selections are sold out well before noon, with customers sometimes making multiple trips to the store in attempts to get their favorite kind of pie. Unfortunately, the quality of the business finances does not come close to the quality of the pies Betty creates. Elizabethan Desserts is draining the entire enterprise with losses totaling $50,000 the previous year.
During a tour of the kitchen facilities, Marcus notes the limited selection of pies. A manager named Shay explained that they frequently deal with equipment failures and customers patiently waiting in long lines to get Betty’s pies. The production is working at around 50% capacity, and Shay admits that business management is not a strength for Betty (she revealed none of her recipes are actually written down and that she just “wings” it as she goes). Shay said that Betty is a good person and enjoys working for her, but proper management and communication are a weak spot in her running of the business.
When Marcus gets down to crunching the numbers, he is pleasantly surprised with profit margins but notes that employment costs are eating at the profits. Improvements and upgrades to the equipment and production process will improve the efficiency of operations and increase the profits of the business.
Marcus offers her $75,000 for 25% of the business and helps with equipment improvements in the kitchen. Betty accepted the offer and planned to get started the next day.
Marcus Begins Betty’s Pie Whole Improvements
The staff is gathered, and Marcus outlines the changes and improvements that will be made to the operation of the business. Equipment will be replaced and upgraded, and the recipes will be formulated and documented for a smoother and more efficient production process.
Unfortunately, Betty again resists writing her recipes down, preferring to wing it. Marcus does not take kindly to this and walks out. When he returns, he calmly explains to Betty that she needs to stay focused and work with the changes and suggestions he makes. Marcus says the changes are for her own good and the long-term health of the business. He encouraged her to trust him throughout each phase of the process and approach each decision that is made with the best interests of the company in mind.
The sense of trust is temporarily broken when it is discovered that Betty was continuing to make ice cream after agreeing with Marcus that she would get rid of the ice cream maker. After some discussion and negotiations, Betty decides to take the ice cream maker home and keep it only for her personal use.
Marcus tells Betty that in order to keep the business afloat and make a return on his investment, she will need to shut down Elizabethan Desserts before it takes both locations down with it. He assures her that the workers will not lose their jobs, but Betty is too emotional about losing such a big part of her life and excuses herself from the room. For his part, Marcus feels terrible about upsetting her but stands by his decision.
With new equipment installed during a two-week break, the reopening is a huge success. Customers and employees seem thrilled with the upgrades, and production is way up. Marcus presents Betty with plane tickets to see her mother as a gift for the changes she’s made, and the success Betty’s Pie Whole was achieving.
After The Profit: Where is Betty’s Pie Whole Now?
Betty’s baked goods have been a staple in the area for many years, and with the financial and business input, customers will be enjoying Betty’s Pie Whole for a long time to come. Her passion and baking skills are the foundation for success and the added guidance and capital that came from her appearance. The Profit helped to bolster the business and set it up for long-term success.
The improvements Marcus facilitated at Betty’s Whole Pie led to sustainable production and sales increases, and Betty herself learned better business and management skills that are helping to run the business better.
Betty’s Whole Pie consistently gets positive reviews on online rating sites, with an average of around 4.5 out of 5 stars, with many positive comments on the affordability and diversity of its menu. Negative reviews are dealt with professional and respectful responses, indicating Betty has dramatically improved her business and communication skills.
Marcus’ concerns were eventually realized, and when Betty found herself spread too thin, Betty’s Pie Whole saloon was forced to close. The pie business was absorbed by the Elizabethan Desserts Encinitas Marketplace Plaza location in the summer of 2019. Customers can still get a wide range of Betty’s sweet and savory pies and other baked goods from the one location. Betty is seeking to move the entire operation out of its current aging space.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Betty’s Pie Whole, The Profit, or any of their subsidiaries.