Today, while many of us are enjoying our Thanksgiving meals, the Schmidt family will be wrapping up one of the busiest weeks at . By the end of Thanksgiving day, the Schmidts and their staff will have baked, boxed and sold about 3,000 holiday pies at their Palm Harbor bakery.
The popular pies have become a holiday tradition for many Palm Harbor residents, including Florence Feffer, who's been picking up her pies at JJ Gandy's since the 1980's. "My favorite is the strawberry-rhubarb," she said this morning as she walked out of the bakery on Alt. 19.
JJ Gandy's owner, Gay Schmidt runs the bakery with her daughter and son, Jodi and Jeff. She says the holiday customers feel like an extended family to them "Seeing all the people over 30 years, they always show up," she said.
Schmidt says the pumpkin chiffon pie is the most popular seller during the holidays. The key lime pie -which is what JJ Gandy's is known for- is the most popular the rest of the year.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, customers pre-order pies, then pick them up on Thanksgiving or a few days before. Sometimes the line of customers is so long, it extends outside the building
Every Thanksgiving, after all of the pies have been distributed and the bakery has been cleaned up and closed for the day, the Schmidt family embarks on their own Thanksgiving tradition, they do not have dinner together.
"We all go home with some turkey and some rolls and maybe a little beer," she said, laughing, "We're together all the time. Some people get together on the holidays because they haven't seen their family in six months, we're together here every day," she said.
JJ Gandy's Pies is located at 3725 Alt 19 (727) 938-7437