GR8 PIES opens in South Point

May 11—Hall turns grandmother's recipes into business

SOUTH POINT — It was a packed house on Saturday as GR8 PIES hosted its ribbon cutting and grand opening.

The shop, located on Collins Avenue is South Point, is owned by Harlee Hall, a South Point High School graduate who went on to Ohio University Southern for nursing, and went on to obtain a Masters Degree in nursing.

Hall comes from a family of bakers.

"I was an ICU Nurse during the pandemic and baking was my escape from reality," she said. "My Mamaw June (June Freeman) was known for her pies and desserts and, after her passing in late September of this last year, I decided to open up a bakery to continue on her traditions and keep her legacy alive."

The name of the business comes from Freeman's license plate.

Freeman worked at Kroger, cleaned houses and "hosted incredible parties," Hall said.

"She visited nursing homes, chauffeured people to doctor's appointments or church, gave money to any person on a street corner without considering what "they would really use the money for," as so many others do," Hall said. "She was one of 16, born dirt poor to a Pentecostal pastor. She looked after the broken-hearted and those who were crushed in spirit."

Freeman drove around with pies in her car to take to doctors, teachers, and her friends (and probably sometimes strangers).

Hall said the South Point shop is a way of keeping her grandmother's legacy alive.

"Her passing moved me to learn how to be more like her," she said. "How to love like her, how to nurture like her, and how to bake like her. Although I am still working on some of these skills (because she made it look so easy), I wanted to honor her in such a way that even people who never met her would love her, because if they ever had the chance to, they would."

The shop offers creations, ranging from pies to cinnamon rolls, made from scratch, using Freeman's recipes. Hall said she hopes to "bring a true slice of heaven" to customers

"Whether it's from a piece of pie, or the kindness and love you feel when you walk through our front doors," she said.