Memphis' piece of the National Pi Day - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis' piece of the National Pi Day

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As some commemorate the most significant digits of the mathematical constant π during the annual celebration of National Pi Day others will just turn to the dessert. (Photo and pie via Muddy's Bake Shop) As some commemorate the most significant digits of the mathematical constant π during the annual celebration of National Pi Day others will just turn to the dessert. (Photo and pie via Muddy's Bake Shop)
After opening their popular Town and Country restaurant, Maurice Keathley became known as the "Fried Pie King" nationally. (Photo Source: Historic Memphis) After opening their popular Town and Country restaurant, Maurice Keathley became known as the "Fried Pie King" nationally. (Photo Source: Historic Memphis)
Now, the Pie Factory Lofts in Cooper-Young stand on the site of the former Keathley Pie Factory. (Source: Google Images) Now, the Pie Factory Lofts in Cooper-Young stand on the site of the former Keathley Pie Factory. (Source: Google Images)
The Pie Folks in Germantown bear the award-winning "Slap Yo Mama Chocolate Pie." It won first place in the National Pie Championship. (Photo Source: The Pie Folks) The Pie Folks in Germantown bear the award-winning "Slap Yo Mama Chocolate Pie." It won first place in the National Pie Championship. (Photo Source: The Pie Folks)

(WMC-TV) - If you hear "The Life of Pi" and don't think of a small boy trapped at sea on a boat with a tiger, then two other things may come to mind: 3.14159265359 or a delectable baked dish consisting of pasty dough filled with sweet or savory ingredients.

As some commemorate the most significant digits of the mathematical constant π during the annual celebration of National Pi Day Friday 3-14-14, others will just turn to the dessert. So why not add Memphis trivia fans in the equation?

A Mid-South family once ran a pie business in Memphis for decades until selling the company to Fairmont Foods. Rubye and Maurice Keathley began making pies in their Midtown Memphis home in the 1930s, according to the Cooper-Young newspaper The Lamplighter.

They would sell the pies for 5 cents. The pie business kicked off when Maurice was laid off from the Ford Motor Company.

"So while eating the little pie, which by the way was the best that anyone could make, a thought came that Rubye and I would start making pies. Rubye was such a good cook," said Maurice in his autobiography.

He used his last check to buy supplies, and set up shop in Cooper-Young. Maurice purchased a truck and painted "Keathley Homemade Pies" in yellow and blue.

They couple sold 600 pies a day in Memphis; for decades, the business became an enormous success. According to Historic Memphis, in the 1940s they were selling vending machine pies in 26 states.

After opening their popular Town and Country restaurant, Maurice became known as the "Fried Pie King" nationally. By the 1960s, the company was producing 600,000 to 700,000 packages of merchandise per day. The product line included brownies, fig bars, cookie sandwiches as well as pecan, coconut, and German chocolate pies.

Maurice sold Keathley's, Inc. in 1970 for stock. Now, the Pie Factory Lofts in Cooper-Young stand on the site of the former Keathley Pie Factory.

But fear not pie lovers! Plenty of places still exists in the Memphis-area where enthusiasts can get their fix.

One popular east Memphis spot: Muddy's Bake Shop with pies from cherry, cocoa, and even pimento cheese (our minds were blown, too). Better yet for math fans, they are selling a pie with the pi symbol on it.

In other areas of town The Pie Folks in Germantown bear the award-winning "Slap Yo Mama Chocolate Pie," and Frost Bake Shop can also make dreams come true.

As far as the guys out there who love discussing the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, I have no advice for you—eating pie always topped my mathematical abilities.

Although, math geek or not, next year's 3-14-15 will be a once-in-a-century thrill for all.

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