Pies Vs. Ice Cream

The news that Michele’s Pies will replace Baskin-Robbins bodes well for Westport — and not just that segment of our population that prefers baked goods to ice cream.

According to the American Independent Business Alliance, for every $100 spent at a chain store, $13 remains in the community.  When that same $100 is spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays home.

Granted, msot people don’t spend $100 a pop on either baked goods or ice cream.  (Though Westporters are not “most people.”)

Still, you catch my drift.

Money spent at a hometown store goes on to pay local accountants, local PR firms, local web designers, maybe even local furnishing suppliers.

Owners of local businesses buy more of their goods locally.  Most of Michele’s ingredients are sourced around here.  Baskin-Robbins distributes their (admittedly delicious) ice cream in ginormous trucks, from central warehouses located who knows where.

At the end of each day, money spent at a hometown store doesn’t get sent off to the “corporate office.”  The office, instead, is at the back of the shop — or maybe the extra room of a house, a few miles away.

I have nothing against Baskin-Robbins.  I have never tried even one of Michele’s pies.

But — from a microeconomic point of view — the recent shift downtown, from corporate ice cream to home-made baked goods, seems both cool and sweet.

34 responses to “Pies Vs. Ice Cream

  1. Indeed. A refreshing new face for downtown. Our dearly departed Paul Newman must be smiling down from heaven. 🙂

    • Not with his racing car operation underfunded. He is probably glaring down at his estate attorney.

  2. Ilene Mirkine

    Michele’s pies are absolutely delicious…every single one of them!

  3. Yup………..nothing like grabbing a slice of apple pie on a warm summer’s night and sitting on a park bench savoring it’s yummy goodness!

    Oh wait….I meant….an ice cream cone.


  4. R.I.P Westport B.R.

  5. Try the pie! Mmmmm.

  6. A $25 apple pie is going to benefit Westport greatly.

  7. Too bad there’s no opportunity for some pie a la mode.

  8. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Michelle should do the crazy thing and add ice cream to her new place… Just a few flavors and not only will she make the Ice cream people happy it will add revenue and make those who want or need there pies ala mode will be ecstatic…

    • Longtime Westporter

      Michelle could buy some quality vanilla ice cream and keep it in the freezer to offer to any customer wanting pie a la mode. Good idea you had, Richard.

  9. It will be cool and sweet if the the new store survives. The market will prevail.

  10. Dan,

    Thanks for the stats re: Local vs Corporate shopping.

    New (old) subject:

    Was there enuf comment on bad driving to get something started via public meetings? I have had an ongoing interest in better enforcement for fifteen to twenty years. No one from Gov. Rell on down has seemed interested in this issue. My last plea was delivered in person to Bucher, Steinberg and Fawcett at a recent LWV meeting.

    What happens when Daddy, Mommy, Junior or Sissy don’t get home from their latest trip?

    This problem has costs that are beyond comprehension when one considers an expanded death rate, general costs, and insurance premium elevations over many years.

    The solution, or least reduction of this problem could produce enormous benefits for our society. Perhaps our blogs and newspapers could try to focus more attention on this problem as a cooperative gesture?

    Regards, Alan

    • THANKS, Alan. I believe some people are working on setting up a meeting at Town Hall on the subject of drivers, traffic, law enforcement, etc. I’ll post any info when I hear something definite.

  11. The Dude Abides

    Pie over ice cream. Always buy local. Simple rule. Why are you all talking to the politicians and not the police department?? Trace the work hours for patrol versus focused traffic control and you will find your answer. The laws are in place. They need to be enforced and abided.

    • Where do you suppose the “local” gasoline originates? Very few sources are truly local anymore.

      • The Dude Abides

        Weren’t you the one who argued to buy BP? Your point is well taken. The soul-less corporationization of America has driven Mom & Pop to Vermont to sell their wares on the roadsides.

      • You must be thinking of another anonymous. “Soul-less” That’s a bit harsh. The larger vendors are successful because they deliver the goods. The patrons reveal their preferences each time they walk through the door. Local vendors were not put out of business by soul-less corporations (BTW isn’t that a tautology. Is there any other type of corporation?), but by the choices made by consumers.

        • The Dude Abides

          Agreed. But it is the same argument on US v. China cost of production. The consumer buys the cheapest and that ain’t Mom y Pop. The playing field needs to be level. Love that word: tautology.

          • Why would you want to throw some poor Chinese worker out in the cold? Doesn’t he/she have a right to earn a living?

          • The Dude Abides

            No but with 500 million in the fields, he has a long way to go. It seems like we can benefit both countries by the USA providing the needs of an emerging middle class (and a diminishing manufacturing industry here) and they consuming as fast as a New Yorker at Mitchell’s on sale day.

          • The Dude Abides

            I thought we were against Communism?? I guess not when it comes to $$$$.

          • The joke is on the Chinese. They have sent us stuff, and we have sent them pieces of paper which will be nearly worthless when they try and redeem them. I think we should buy as much as we can with that paper.

          • The Dude Abides

            What is your take on Jeffrey and his panel? I wish he would worry about GE stock prices instead. Seems like a dog and pony show considering that China makes us give up technology to operate there.

          • All you need to know about Immelt is in the price of the stock. He has been a very poor CEO. GE needs a space at the public trough and this will ensure that they get it. Immelt is no Welch.

        • The Dude Abides

          Buffet thinks he is Wonderbread. Under your theory,
          we are taking down the Chinese by borrowing their

          • I think we are getting the better part of the deal. Helicopter Ben is about to make the paper almost worthless. The Chinese know the debt can be inflated into worthlessness so now they are agitating for a new reserve currency. They are out of luck there. With Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Ireland on the very of bankruptcy, the next biggest currency is on the ropes. So where can the Chinese turn? Brazil?

          • The Dude Abides

            Aren’t these secured loans??

        • The Chinese have purchased obligations of the US Government denominated in dollars; full faith and credit. The Fed can print $2 trillion and pay off the debt. In fact, the Fed can print $14 trillion and pay off the entire debt, by buying it back. The Chinese get paper and we get the stuff. We went off the gold standard in 1971. The bonds are not secured by anything more than a promise to pay….in dollars.

  12. another country heard from

    Ummm, so hard to generalize about local business. Presumably their advantage is connectedness, personal touch, and understanding of the vibe of the community- the whole community, not just customers. Remember Tina Dragone’s testimony a while back? Gimme the GAP and their (RED) merchandise, thank you!

  13. Woog-o-nomics!

  14. Not all alike

    Don’t local people own franchise chains?

  15. Those who think the old B-R as “corporate” probably never stepped inside the place. Here is a little refresher:


    Trips for pie after the Middle School spring concerts? No thanks.

  16. I like Baskin-Robbins. But I like pies too. 🙂