Ken Weikel spent twenty-five years in the real estate business teaching other people to follow their dreams. Then one day he woke up and realized it was time he heeded his own advice.
A talented cook, Ken decided to start selling some of the food products he’d been giving away for years, including a mixture he pegged Pie in a Bottle. Then the Food Network came calling, and everything changed for the lifelong Louisville resident.
Ken – who will be featured on the network at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11 and again at 2:30 a.m. Saturday, March 12 – stepped away from the kitchen for a few moments to talk with us about his products, living his dream and his belief that a good pie is hands down better than Botox.
When was the first time you were featured on the Food Network?
November 2007 on an episode of “Unwrapped.” They (the network) had a complete show booked and somebody backed out: the person who happened to be the number one Google search result for “pie filling.” I happened to be number two, so the Food Network called me. … It was the kind of thing where they say, “Do you want to do this?” and you say, “Yes” – and then you panic.
After you were featured, how was your business affected?
We had two years of business (occur) in the first six days after the show. The first six days. … About 10 minutes after we air (on the Food Network), you start seeing the (online orders) and e-mails popping in.
How did you come up with Pie in a Bottle?
I got hungry. I had a generic bottle of corn syrup and it had a simple recipe for pie on the back of it, and I just decided to make it. After three trips to the grocery store because I kept forgetting ingredients, I decided I was going to put them all together in a Mason jar. … My wife (Kate) and I did school teacher gifts and stuff like that and included it. People loved it. Then I had a guy say, “You either need to shut up about it or sell it.” So I did.
You said you spent a quarter of a century teaching people how to go after their dreams and one day woke up and realized it was time for you to go after your own. Has it been worth it?
You have those days when you think, what have I done? But at the same time, I haven’t had to wear a tie in 12 years. I also haven’t had a vacation in 12 years because every day off, I’m unemployed. So we just work every day, but it’s worth it. There’s nothing like feeding somebody and seeing that smile on their face.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. What about for women?
I always tell the ladies pie is better than Botox. They take one bite and their eyebrows go up.
Category: The Spotlight
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.