PRINCETON — Grandma Paddles Fried Pie Shoppe recently opened in the former Taco Bell at 2128 N. Main St.
Nancy Lorang is starting a new chapter in her life by managing the shoppe owned by her brother, Bill Lange.
Lorang recently took a buyout from LCN after working there for 27 years. But operating a restaurant is completely new to her either. Lorang has a background in ice cream, since her parents ran the Tastee Freeze in Princeton for 25 years.
Lange of Gig Harbor, Wash., owns 13 Burger Kings in Alaska. He came across a fried pie shoppe in Oklahoma and other southern states. He liked it so much that he talked to the owners, and then he talked to his sister about managing one of the fried pie shops in Princeton.
“They are popular down there, and he thought nobody had these up here,” she said. “He wanted to find a building, and I told him about Taco Bell being available.”
After Lange made the decision to open the shop in Princeton, Lorang went to Oklahoma for four days of training on how to make the pies. “I was impressed, and they were the best I have ever had,” she said.
The shop will sell fruit and cream pies that are all cooked in peanut oil. Customers can also choose from a wide variety of meat and vegetable pies.
“We will also sell espressos, lattes, cappuccinos and smoothies,” she added. “Ice cream is a given, since I grew up in that business.”
Lorang said her brother wanted something different in Princeton and thought this shop would allow customers to fill that bill.
“You can only eat so many burgers,” she said. “All of the pies are fresh made every day. The meat pies are made when a customer orders them. We don’t sell any day old pies.”
“So far, people have liked us,” Lorang said. “It has been hard because we are training our staff, while we are busy with customers.”
The name of the shop in Princeton came from the name that Bill Lange’s children called their grandmother and his mother-in-law, which is Grandma Paddles.
After taking over the former Taco Bell the last part of November, the building’s interior was remodeled. “We took out all the booths and put in a new floor,” said Lorang. “We put in tables because we wanted a homey atmosphere.”
Grandma Paddles Fried Pie Shoppe is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and until 11 p.m. on the weekend. The shop’s phone number is (815) 879-4000. The address of the Web site is www.grandmapaddles.com.
Lorang said Beau and Nancy Fulton opened their first fried pie shoppe in Davis, Okla., 18 years ago and now have 10 other stores in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. They started with just a billboard on the interstate and now make 1,500 to 2,500 pies a day on the weekends.
“If this one goes well, we would like to do more stores around here,” said Lorang. “We would also like to sell fresh ground coffee eventually.”
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