Cincinnati Deliciously Torn Apart by Pumpkin Pie Wars

Illustration for article titled Cincinnati Deliciously Torn Apart by Pumpkin Pie Wars

It's the time of year when all I can think about is a slice of sweet, creamy pumpkin pie. It's all I can do not to just mix a jar of pumpkin pie spice with a can of pureed pumpkin into a vat of whipped cream and then just start shoveling it into my mouth using a pop tart. Ah, autumn.


Obviously there are others who feel a similar passion for the pie, as the city of Cleveland Cincinnati is being TORN APART by an intense pie war between family-owned Busken Bakery and Frisch's Big Boy. Both claim to have the best pumpkin pie around and I'm not there to judge so we have no clue what the truth is. It's actually a bunch of bullshit and I blame my parents for being born poor.

It started when Big Boy's accidentally placed a billboard advertising their pumpkin pie directly over Busken's flagship store burger reading "Hello, Pumpkin." The Busken's responded with an adjacent billboard that read, "That's 'Mr. Pumpkin' to you, Big Boy." Oh, SNAP!

Then, the rivalry escalated, with stunts like Dan and Brian Busken, the owners of Busken Bakery, visiting the Big Boy location, cloaking their Big Boy statue in a Busken apron, and encasing the statue's trademark burger in a Busken pie box. Hahaha, that is funny.

"I know it's not typical behavior of a CEO and a vice president," says Dan Busken, 37-year-old prankster-in-chief of the 84-year-old family business known for cheeky ad campaigns, such as a billboard telling motorists to "Have a Crumby Day" with a picture of a smiley-face cookie.

As far as the fans, both bakeries have pie aficionados who claim their bakeries is the best. Is this kind of like having expert witnesses who are actually employed by the defense? If I learned one thing from Law & Order it's that money can buy testimony. And also, whenever you hear CHUNG CHUNG, be prepared for a scene break. CHUNG CHUNG.

Of course, when there is pie involved, everyone wins, especially diabetes, and both bakeries have seen increased sales since the shenanigans first shennaniganned.

Both companies have clearly benefited from the spat. Frisch's, which typically sells 90,000 pumpkin pies during its 16-week selling window, saw a 5% uptick the first year. The bakery, with an average of 2,500 pumpkin pies during the Thanksgiving season, saw a 20% jump in sales.

Pie, pie, the magical fruit! The more you eat, the more you get fat and awesome! Pie, pie, for every meal!

In Your Face: In Cincinnati, a Pie War Heats Up [Wall Street Journal]



I realize that geography might not be Jezebel's strong suit, but Cleveland is a completely different city than Cincinnati, it shocks me too. Cincinnati is the home Busken Bakery, Skyline Chili and Graeters, arguably the best ice cream on earth. Cleveland is the home football (by way of Canton), rock-n-roll, rivers that catch on fire, the. best. mustard. period. oh, and pretty much... awesomeness. Get your Buckeye Cities straight.