In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.
These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.
In today’s edition – February 10, 2021 – the FBI warns of online romance scammers, the Worcester Fire Department receives a state grant for student fire safety education, get a chocolate-covered strawberry pie for Valentine’s Day at Table Talk Pies, Worcester Art Museum exhibit goes virtual this year, and gas prices are up five cents this week in Massachusetts.
Whether you’re trying to beef up for the football team, recover from a tonsillectomy, or find maximum indulgence in a cup, there’s a milkshake waiting for you at the Table Talk Pie Store in Worcester.
Manager Caitlin Enck finds herself fielding the same question over and over again: “Does the Table Talk Pie Store sell anything besides — pie?”
The answer is: not really.
It’s a better business model than you think. American psychologist Barry Schwartz built his entire career on the finding that offering consumers fewer choices makes them happier. The Table Talk Pie Store is an excellent example of this.
It’s no secret that Worcester is a burgeoning food hub, with an endless list of options for dining on every scale. Included in this myriad are a variety of successful businesses native to the city, all of which have seen their products thrive both locally and outside of their hometown. This month we’ve chosen to highlight four local businesses that have come to be staples in the stomachs of Worcester residents, each with a distinctly different path to success.
Table Talk Pies If you’re on the hunt for a dessert that can serve one person or a whole table, you may want to pay a visit to Table Talk Pies. Table Talk Pies have graced people’s pantries and tabletops since 1924, when two Greek immigrants who worked in a small bakery started the company. It was the grandfather of Harry Kokkinis, the current president of Table Talk, who worked with his business partner to bake pies during the night and deliver them during the day until their business finally took off. Table Talk Pies hit some bumps in the road along the way, when the company was sold in 1965. It was run into the ground and officially closed in the mid-1980s. Kokkinis describes how his father finally bought back the building in 1986. He purchased the name and some new equipment and slowly but steadily began to rebuild their family’s company. Kokkinis himself took over the business in 2003, and credits new technology in food science with helping the company continue to succeed. By freezing their pies, Table Talk can ship their product all over the country. Most recently, Kokkinis discloses excitedly, he found out their pies were sold at a 7/11 in Hawaii. Despite the far distances Table Talk Pies travel, Kokkinis credits the city of Worcester as a pillar of the company’s success. He claims the city is a “great place to do business”, and that the two things that make their company great are a commitment to quality and “great employees that help achieve that quality.” In 2018, alone the company sold over 200 million 4-inch pies, their best-selling product being their apple pie closely followed by blueberry. Kokkinis’ favorite? Of the smaller pies, he recommends their lemon pie, but if you’re looking for a pie to share with the table, pumpkin is the way to go.
WORCESTER – Offering lemon, pecan, blueberry and other assorted pies along with a slice of nostalgia, Table Talk Pies opened a retail store Tuesday in the Canal District.
A steady stream of pie fans welcomed the new business.
“Table Talk is sort of a local landmark in many ways,” said customer Kevin Chosta, picking up an 8-inch blueberry pie. “It’s sad to see local businesses that over time have fallen by the wayside, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Table Talk.”
Table Talk Pies was established in 1924 by Greek immigrants Theodore Tonna and Angelo Cotsidas. The company was sold in 1965 to Beechnut, and then changed hands several times before closing down in 1984.
In 1986, Mr. Tonna’s son-in-law, Christo Cocaine (whose name had changed from the original Kokkinis) reopened Table Talk, focusing on selling snack pies to grocers and convenience stores.
By Alban Murtishi, MassLive.com
on January 24, 2017
It’s been more than 20 years since someone could walk into a cafe, order a Table Talk 8-inch pie with a side of vanilla ice-cream and sip on coffee while watching cars pass through the Canal District in Worcester, Mass.
Pie-lovers, rejoice: Table Talk Pies is opening a retail store on 153 Green St. Tuesday at 9 a.m. The first 10 customers get a free coffee or tea with their purchase of a pie.
The retail opening follows an expansive period for the once-dormant pie company.
Table Talk Pies was almost sunk by its corporate owners in the 1980s. However, when the Kokkinis family took the company back in the 2000s and shifted its focus back to their addicting 4-inch pies, their fortunes began to turn.
Harry Kokkinis, the third-generation of the Table Talk Pies family, is expanding the brand by re-opening the Table Talk retail store, and building a new production plant in the South Worcester Industrial Park. The city of Worcester is in the midst of a renaissance of development, dining and culture that has taken off in the past few years.
The Worcester-based company famous for its 4-inch pies is opening a retail storefront later this month in the city’s Canal District.
Table Talk Pies will open its store on 153 Green St., attached to its factory, sometime this month.
Harry Kokkinis, president of Table Talk Pies, said the store will primarily serve pies overrun from production. Customers will be able to come in and have a cup of coffee with their favorite 4-inch or 8-inch pie.