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Easy as Pie

By Kentucky For Kentucky |

This week, we're happy to announce a partnership with Kern's Kitchen and A Taste of Kentucky in order to offer you the original Kentucky dessert: DerbyPie®, right here on the Kentucky for Kentucky website.

We recently sat down with Walter and Leaudra Kern's great-grandson Jon Rupp to learn a little more about the history of the pie that has only continued to solidify itself in Kentucky and beyond. The story begins in the early 1950s, when a dapper dresser named George Kern took a European vacation with a friend to explore the tastes and sights of the region. When George returned to Kentucky, he persuaded his parents, Walter and Leaudra, to create a signature dessert for their family restaurant, the Melrose Inn, located in Prospect, Kentucky. After many recipe trials, they settled on one particular chocolate nut pie.The name 'chocolate nut pie' didn't quite cut it, however, so the family settled their differences as any group would in 1954 – by gathering around, tossing their favorite titles into a hat, and drawing out the now world famous name 'Derby Pie.' With the name settled, all they needed to do was start selling pies.

In the mid1960s, Walter and Leaudra only had about ten customers and they were baking pies out of their house, three at a time. Louisville legend of a restaurateur, Ed Hasenour, suggested that they trademark their creation, and another friend, Judge Robert Merhige agreed. Since 1969, DerbyPie® has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and recognized as a
Federally registered trademark. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Kern's Kitchen has taken many forms over the years, beginning

in Walter and Leaudra's house, moving to the Bluegrass Corporate Center in the 1980s, and finally expanding last December to a new 11,000 square foot space where they have enough room to comfortably bake and ship upwards of 125,000 pies per year.

Now a must have staple in May – and the rest of the year – DerbyPie® hangs in the Kentucky must have ranks along with

mint juleps and ham biscuits. As Jon articulates, "over the years, many products have come and gone to fit whatever fad is going on at that time, but DerbyPie® nailed the perfect recipe 60 years ago and we have been bringing the pie to the people ever since."

DerbyPie® – come and make one yours on Wednesday November 5th at 10am. Keep eating pie. Keep kicking ass.
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