|PTC culinary student Angela Henry talks to a customer at her concessions booth.|
Pulaski Tech culinary students Angela and Roman Henry are working to make a good thing better.
Earlier this summer, the couple made their entrepreneurial debut at Riverfest, selling homemade gourmet fried pies at Riverfest. Their "FunkdFried" concession stand caught plenty of attention from festival goers who stopped by to try a treat the couple promises is "not your average fried pie."
"It was quite an experience," Angela said. "We learned a lot. Everyone told us that the first year at Riverfest is the hardest. By the second year, people are familiar with your product, and by the third year, they expect to find it."
Over the three-day festival weekend, the couple enlisted the help of Angela's parents to help man the concessions stand during shifts that ran as long as 14 hours - and to help care for her two children who are both under the age of 2.
Both Angela and Roman have completed technical certificates in culinary arts and wine and spirit studies. Both are pursuing associate degrees in culinary arts, and Angela is also pursuing an additional associate degree in hospitality management.
The married couple came up with the idea for specialty fried pies while making empanadas in their international cuisine class.
"My husband and I had been collaborating, figuring out what all we could put in a fried pie," Angela recalled.
After securing a spot as one of Riverfest's vendors, the Henrys got busy and made more than 2,000 fried pies - and not your average fried pies. They made Philly cheese steak pies, chicken parmesan, traditional Reubens, Thai curry chicken and Jamaican jerk chicken pies - which they sold for $6 each. They also sold the more traditional dessert pies like apple, chocolate, peach and Boston cream for $4 each.
Their top seller? The Boston Cream.
Now, they're already thinking ahead to next year.
"I've been testing all sorts of recipes," Angela said. "Maybe next year, we'll have some new offerings."