Mike’s Pies, Tampa, FL

Mike’s Pies started in a 900-square-foot facility. Now it has more than 5,000 square feet—of freezer space.

Operating in its sixth location and its first Duke Realty facility, Mike’s Pies whips up between 10,000 to 15,000 pies each week from its 30,000 square-foot location in Eagle Creek Business Center. Those pies, mixed and baked in Tampa, are distributed all over the country and as far away as Dubai.

Owner Mike Martin learned from his mother how to make pies, but Mom probably never imagined an operation like this. Martin’s kitchen has four ovens, baking 90 to 100 pies at once, with room for four more ovens.

Martin looked for eight months for a building that would meet the needs of a major baking operation before finding this one right around the corner from his previous spot.

“In our earlier moves, we had to retrofit existing buildings,” Martin said. “We liked this location because it was a shell. We were able to start fresh and build.”

“For the first time in 20 years, we have the kitchen set up exactly the way we want.”

Although Martin started with a small retail operation and a plan to open a chain of pie shops, he quickly learned that selling pies to restaurants and through retail outlets was a better strategy for his business.

Now that Mike’s Pies operates out of a bigger, more efficient space, with the capability to expand, Martin says that the company can go after more business: “We used to shy away from the ‘800-pound gorillas’ (a term we use to describe the national chains) now we can go after them. We’ve got the space to grow our business.”