A family with North Texas ties has purchased Emporium Pies, a small chain of beloved pie shops that started in a converted house in the Bishop Arts District. Founders and owners Megan Wilkes and Mary Sparks decided to sell, but it’s unclear why.
The new owners are Landon and Charlie Perdue and Landon’s sister, Jen Abohosh. Charlie, who grew up in North Dallas, is the owner of Perdue Realty Corp., a commercial real estate brokerage and investment firm, and has a degree in restaurant and hotel management.
Abohosh will serve as president of Emporium Pies and plans to operate the company with Landon. Abohosh told D Magazine Tuesday that their grandfather once owned restaurants in Dallas, and when the opportunity came about to be part of the hospitality industry, they decided to act quickly. Wilkes declined to comment about the decision to sell.
“When I think about Bishop Arts, Emporium Pies is such a huge part of that,” Abohosh says. “We both, just being neighbors and friends of the business, wanted to keep the magic alive.”
Abohosh says they have no plans to change the iconic pie recipes. The loaded pastries have been a staple for holidays and family gatherings over the last decade, frequently earning the shops lines that extended down sidewalks in each of the four locations. Seasonal flavors like the Drop Dead Gourdgeous (a scrumptious pumpkin pie) and the Nanners (a custard banana pie) easily rival Emporium classics like the Lord of the Pies (a deep-dish apple pie).
Emporium’s flagship store at 314 North Bishop in Oak Cliff has grown to three more local shops in Deep Ellum, Fort Worth, and McKinney. They also deliver nationwide. Abohosh says future plans include expanding online and delivery services and new store opportunities.
Landon said Charlie got to know Megan and Mary over the last decade through his work in Oak Cliff. She also said she and Charlie’s rehearsal dinner featured several Emporium pies.
“It’s just kind of been a long-standing friendship for my husband and a friendship with Megan and myself,” Landon said.
Although Charlie will be a partial owner in the company, Abohosh told D Magazine that he won’t have an active operating role—she and Landon will run the shops and keep Emporium Pies women-led and majority-owned.
“We’ve loved that Megan and Mary started this and carried it up to this point—it’s part of their legacy of being a woman-run business in Dallas,” Abohosh said. “Part of why me and my sister Landon are getting involved is to carry forth that legacy and make more opportunities for women, particularly in the restaurant industry.”