When Mike Busley walked into Julian Pie Company, he found something unexpected—a sense of purpose. Returning with a dream of opening his own café with his wife, Denise, Mike convinced Julian’s owner to show them how to make pie so flavorful that it could alter a person’s life, just as it had theirs. The couple found themselves armed with newfound know-how, leading them to quit their careers in defense and medical sales, have a tough but healthy breakup talk with San Diego, and venture to Michigan to open Grand Traverse Pie Company.
Though now a franchise throughout Michigan and Indiana, Mike and Denise continue to run the original shop, and each location adheres to their vision of favoring ingredients from Michigan growers. Each day, chefs bake more than 25 flavors of pie, which have received attention from publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine. They also prepare an extensive selection of comfort fare for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, and dinner.