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Daily Inspiration: Meet Madeline Hissong

Today we’d like to introduce you to Madeline Hissong. 

Hi Madeline, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I have worked in restaurants all my life, I love it. I have lived and worked in a lot of place across the country-Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Chicago. I’ve been able to travel and eat a little bit around the country, I feel really lucky for that. My story is one of the most sacred things to me. I have done so much in so many places, but it wasn’t until I got to St, Louis, that I felt like anything I did could be personal. As uncomfortable as it can come across, getting sober in 2019 has been the most impactful and inspiring thing that has ever happened to me. Food has always been my main creative passion, and until I got sober, I always felt stunted and only had glimpses of meaningful inspiration. Since then, I have been able to open up to what I really want to do and who I want to be in this industry. Like so many chefs do, I went back home. I’m from a small town in northern Indiana and my great-grandma was the pie lady. I absolutely love pie; you can bake anything into a pie. So that is what I do. I try to pull from the things I remember and the things I love and the things the people I love to love and put them into little portable pie pockets. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely not. Smooth is not the way of the service industry. I have worked long hours, long weeks, long months, and years with low pay and sometimes very unfortunate working circumstances. Being a chef is not exactly a merciful career path. I fell very deeply into the illusion that most people have about kitchen workers. And it did not work for me. I am so grateful for the path I am on now. Honestly, and I cannot say it enough, getting sober and reclaiming my mind and my creativity have saved my life and my career. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I make sweet and savory hand pies. I think right now I am mostly known for my dill cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning pie. I don’t really know yet what sets me apart from others. There are so many people doing such amazing things with food. I just really love to be a part of that community. I am so proud every day of just getting my little pie stand going! I got a second job to pay for all of the things I needed and made so so many pies. I am just proud that it has all come together like it has. And my pie crust. It is still a work in progress, but I feel like it gets better with each little adjustment I make to it. 

What was your favorite childhood memory?
Climbing trees. Definitely climbing trees. Especially the mulberry trees we had in my backyard. I’d hang out in the trees and eat berries every day during the summer. I used to pick a bunch of them and put them in Corn Flakes with like a quarter of a cup of sugar. It was so good. 


  • $8/pie
  • Half dozen for $40
  • Full dozen $72

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @damnfinehandpies

Image Credits
RJ Hartbeck

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