MURRAY, Utah (ABC4) – After just a few months on the scene, one local bakery is being honored by PETA as having one of the best vegan pies in the country.
According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Key Lime Pie at Sweet Hazel & Co., located on the Frontage Road in Murray, is “the perfect holiday dessert,” as stated by the group’s Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a press release.
The bakery’s owner, Felicia Holmberg, tells ABC4.com that she was blown away by the recognition.
“It’s just amazing,” she says incredulously. “Just unreal.”
Even more amazing is that it didn’t take long for Holmberg’s creation, made from a recipe she developed on her own through “trial and error” to become one of the best vegan pies in the country. Sweet Hazel & Co. opened its doors for the first time on March 13 of this year. Soon, the bakeshop will display a framed certificate from the non-profit organization, which has built a reputation as one of the loudest advocates against animal cruelty, on one of its green-painted walls.
A longtime foodie with a passion for baking, Holmberg says she turned to a vegan lifestyle about two years ago after seeing a few disturbing videos on factory farming. She flipped the page and became a vegan “pretty much immediately.”
“I’ve been in the food business my whole life, food has always been my passion,” Holmberg explains. “And then I just didn’t know I was causing so much harm by using all these ingredients and stuff. When I found out it was an easy transition.”
Nailing down the recipe for the bakery’s signature Key Lime Pie wasn’t nearly as simple. Made without any dairy products, including milk or butter, or eggs either, it took more than a few attempts to create something that was animal product-free, while also being quite tasty.
“A lot of pies went in the garbage,” she recalls. “Like one thing doesn’t work, another thing doesn’t work, we just kept going and trying.”
One of the biggest keys to the Key Lime masterpiece was topping it off with homemade whipped cream, made with soy-based ingredients, rather than the coconut milk and oil that composes the rest of the pie.
The result is something that Holmberg and her team are proud to share with the community. She says the feedback on the pie has been terrific and even those who don’t eat a vegan diet would see why PETA calls it one of the best in the nation.
“You’d be like, ‘This is the best key lime pie I’ve ever had,'” Holmberg boasts.
While the vegan bakery owner says she is thrilled at the recognition from such a prominent vegan-friendly group, the satisfaction she feels on a daily basis from her lifestyle choice is just as fulfilling.
“Every day, I wake up, and I just feel good that I’m not harming animals for my pleasure.”