It’s been a sweet quarter of a century for Sedalian Vickie Norton, a dedicated baker at Dickie-Doo Bar-B-Que who has thousands of homemade pies on her resume and has become a local pastry legend.
Norton began working at Dickie-Doo 35 years ago as a waitress. Pie baking became part of her job description 10 years later.
“They opened in 1972 and I’ve been here since 1980,” she said Wednesday. “I actually wasn’t a pie maker at the time I started working here, I baked more cakes than I did pies. But, the boss at the time (Marge Hangley) knew I could bake. So, she put me in charge of doing the pies, and it’s just evolved.”
Norton has worked with four sets of Dickie-Doo owners: Marge Hangley, Sam and Jyl Jones, Fred and Jana Kennedy and present owners Rick and Trudy Hunt.
Norton bakes five to 10 pies each week for the Doo. Calculating at 10 a week for 25 years, that would be about 13,000 pies since beginning her pastry career.
“Some of the favorites are gooseberry, coconut meringue and peach cobbler,” she said.
She also makes homemade cheesecakes such as chocolate cookie, key lime and caramel pecan.
Besides baking pies and cobblers for Dickie-Doo, she sells her homemade fare at the Sedalia Area Farmer’s Market each season.
“I will actually be doing pies for the Winter Bounty Bag next week,” Norton said.
When asked why she loves to bake pies, she said it’s because it helps her relax.
“It’s therapeutic,” she noted.”You can work in the dough and do things, and it keeps you busy. It makes you feel better.”
Norton said her favorite pie is black walnut with gooseberry coming in second.
“It’s similar to a pecan pie, but the process is a little bit different,” she said. “You stir some sugars together before you add the butter and pecans.”
Although she said she doesn’t have any new pie creations on the horizon, her customer pie requests include chocolate, coconut and her second favorite gooseberry.
“I’m always on the lookout for a good recipe,” she added. “There are several who request the gooseberry. That’s sort of an acquired taste. That’s probably second on my list of favorites.”
Norton inherited her pie-making skills from her mother Audrey Schlobhm, who used to cook in many Sedalia cafes and restaurants.
“She made her pie crust totally different than I do,” Norton said. “She worked in restaurants in her younger years and she did a lot of the pie baking for them.”
Besides baking pies at Dickie-Doo, Norton also works on the wait staff one night a week and is the bookkeeper for the business.
“And, I collect money at the door on band nights,” she added smiling.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss