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 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.
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."