Cast your ballot, get free pie at Grand Traverse Pie Co.

LANSING, MICH. - Let’s forget campaign ads and party affiliations for a moment and sit down with a nice slice of pie.

Did we mention the pie is free?

On Nov. 8, bring in your “I voted” sticker or other proof that you cast your ballot and Grand Traverse Pie Company locations will give you a free slice of its so-called “Liberty Pie.” The pie is a cherry and blueberry concoction with a star-spangled crust-and-crumb topping, red and blue mixed into a single non-partisan treat.

Everybody hopes and dreams that the red and the blue will work together  better,” said Mike Busley, who co-founded Grand Traverse Pie Company with his wife, Denise, in 1996. “We asked ourselves, ‘How can we symbolize that with pie?’”

He calls the Liberty Pie a “surprisingly great result.”’

Mike Busley is originally from Lansing, a Waverly High School graduate. Denise Busley is from Kalamazoo. They moved to California after graduating from Michigan State University in 1980 and spent a decade and a half there, with Mike working in the aerospace industry and Denise in medical sales.

They felt both a yearning to return to Michigan and a desire to control their own work environment.

“We said, ‘Is there a way we could create something of our own while working together as a team?” Mike said.

Pie provided the answer.

Over the past 20 years they’ve grown their business to include 15 Michigan shops and one in Indiana. Some are franchises and others are company-owned, but all bake pies fresh daily using unique recipes.

If you don’t want to wait until Tuesday, you can buy a whole or mini Liberty Pie this week, but its run on store shelves will be short-lived. After Election Day, it's gone.

But pies are always in development. A new holiday offering, a sweet potato pie with pecan glaze, is up next. Next summer, you may even see a sweet-and-salty hybrid.

“I think it’s time for an apple-bacon pie,” Busley said.

Which might just be something Michiganders can come together on.

Lansing State Journal


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