A Warwick Couple Finds Love and Success With Cherry Pie
The owners of Noble Pies in Orange County share a love of baking with the Hudson Valley community.
Photos by Erik Christian Photography
Once upon a time in the Hudson Valley, one couple found lasting love through cherry pie.
Sounds like too good of a local fairytale to be true? Keep going, dear reader…
Our story begins with Leslie Noble, a baker-at-heart who developed a reputation for the homemade pies she would deliver to doctors and nurses during her first career as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Around that time, Noble, who learned to bake from her grandmother, began dating a fellow by the name of Tom Herman. The two hit it off, so Noble decided to make Herman her famous cherry pie.
“He took one bite and proposed,” Noble recalls. “’You make a dam good pie,’ he said. ‘Will you marry me?’”
Noble said “yes,” and the pair began a life of wedded bliss in the Hudson Valley. Yet, little did they know that their journey to a happy ending had only just begun.
True Story: One day, long ago, Leslie Noble baked a cherry pie for her suitor, Tom Herman. Tom took one bite of the made-from-scratch and made-with-love sweet treat and he knew that the time was right to pop the question. Tom immediately asked Leslie “Will you marry me?” Leslie immediately replied, "Yes," 🥰 This cherry pie has become a symbol of their love 🍒♥️ and commitment to each other and to their baking partnership👩🍳👨🍳that have both seen ten years of sweet and delectable moments. Now, the Will You Marry Me Cherry is the quintessential sweet that Noble Pies will make for grooms and brides-to-be to tempt their partner to say, "Yes." ❌⭕️❌⭕️ With Valentine's Day right around the corner, it's a popular time for marriage proposals. Leslie and Tom, Noble Pies owners/bakers, are taking orders for the Will You Marry Me Cherry Pie, and all other pies, to use as the most romantic prop when presenting an engagement ring. 💍 Call to order through February 12th for Valentine's Day pies: 845-986-7436 www.noblepies.com 💋 #happilyeverafter #propose #shesaidyes #engagement #marryme #cherrypie #diamondring #noblepies #turnbackforpie 💘 Sweet cherry pie photo by @erikchristianphotography
Life took a turn for the worse in 2008, around the same time the economy made a nosedive. At the time, Noble owned a horse business in Warwick, where she would take care of horses and provide lessons to locals. Herman, a farrier, worked in the same field, shoeing horses for the equestrian community in the region.
“When the economy changed, people started giving up horses or stopped buying horseback riding lessons,” she notes. Her business took a hit, and the struggle to raise three children became very real. To cope, she and Herman brainstormed something they could do immediately to earn a little extra cash. Baking pie was one of the first things that came to mind.
Together, she and one of her sons made up fliers and distributed them around the community. By the time they got home from that first excursion, they already had a number of calls for orders.
“It was a half-baked idea,” she jokes. “But we scrambled and filled the orders.”
After that initial burst of success, Noble and family kept up their grassroots marketing, eventually setting up a roadside picnic table at their farm on Route 94 to sell to passersby. They fell into a comfortable routine of baking on Friday nights, selling on weekends, and grinding it out at day jobs during the week. Eventually though, they realized it was time to find a commercial kitchen and, soon after, a dedicated space to sell.
Solutions to both came in the form of gracious community members. A local bagel shop owner gave them access to a commercial kitchen, while a shopping center owner gave them a discounted rate on the use of one of his open retail spaces. Noble and Herman didn’t know how the business would fare in the new location, but they gave it their best shot nevertheless.
“We went in there for the holidays,” Noble says. “Everyone came and bought pies on the weekends.”
With a strong seasonal performance in the bag, the couple decided to give the Warwick space a go for real. They committed to rent there and began sourcing furniture and kitchen supplies for their dream shop. After a year of scrapping everything together, they opened Noble Pies in 2009.
“We never borrowed a dime,” Noble says proudly. In August, she and Herman celebrated the company’s ten-year anniversary. More recently, they marked what is arguably an even more significant milestone: 100,000 pies made. Of those, their apple variety undoubtedly ranks number one. The couple sources all their apples from nearby Ochs Orchard in Warwick, while the vegetables in savory pies come from Maduras Farm in Pine Island. For lamb and beef, the duo goes to Banbury Cross Farm in Goshen.
While Noble pies is famous for go-to varieties like apple-cranberry, pecan, pumpkin, and, of course, cherry, it also does wonders with savory styles. Think comforting chicken pot pie (another best seller) with top and bottom crust along with shepherd’s, cottage, and mushroom and chicken.
Then there are the pies that come when Noble gets bored.
“People tell me it’s like a disease I have,” she jokes. “If I have 30 minutes and it’s a little slow, I start experimenting.” From her mad scientist sessions, she’s produced everything from a savory risotto pie to bacon-topped pulled pork pie and game day-style buffalo chicken pot pie.
“I make my own ranch dressing [for the buffalo chicken one],” she reveals. “It will be insane for Super Bowl.” Leaning into the holiday pie trend, she loves to do a Thanksgiving dinner pot pie, which she describes as an entire meal in a pie, and a St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage pie. Come summertime, she makes use of the Hudson Valley’s fruit-filled bounty with Italian plum, apricot, and, for a special two weeks in September, Concord grape pie.
“It would be so boring [to just make pie],” Noble teases. To keep herself busy, she whips up soups from scratch and sells a cake of the week by the slice. As long as she has variety, she’s happy to keep on keeping on in Warwick. Of course, she also loves the chance to work alongside her husband and meet and greet with the Hudson Valley community that passes through the shop.
“My husband and I talk to every customer that comes in,” she enthuses. “The menu has grown because of what customers want and say they like.”
Noble Pies, 121 St Rte 94 S, Warwick