Rodney Henry is picking up and moving to Texas.
Henry, the founder of Dangerously Delicious Pies and former contestant on “Food Network Star,” has sold his house and is moving to Austin, where he's been living part-time over the past four years.
In September, Henry will start operating a pie business on the grounds of The Lost Well, a bar and live-music venue in the city's East Austin neighborhood, which Forbes magazine ranked in 2012 as one of best hipster neighborhoods.
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"I’ve been frequenting this place for about year," Henry said. "I’m putting a trailer on their property. People can go there all day and get pies."
This is how it's done in Austin, where traveling food trucks are almost unheard of, Heny said. In Austin, it's all about food trailers, or food trucks on permanent blocks, whether they're located in permanent truck courts or sometimes on the grounds of another business.
"It's really super cool," Henry said. "It's the perfect way to open a new [food] business." Not only are the start-up costs low, Henry said, but the arrangement works for both the bar and the food operator.
"It gives people with their own bars a built-in food operation, and people running the food don’t have to get involved in the liquor business, Henry said. "It's the perfect set-up. It's awesome."
Henry started going down to Austin to hook up with friends he had first met in Baltimore. He's been baking and selling his sweet and savory pies in Austin, using space within an East Austin barbecue restaurant as a commissary. He'll be keeping the commissary space even when he opens his trailer at The Lost Well, Henry said.
Henry turned a part-time pie-making business into a full-time career more than 10 years ago, when he opened his first Dangerously Delicious Pie shop in Paterson Park. He has pie shops in Canton, Washington and Detroit and all will remain open.