Upon arrival in the city I ride my bike out to Chalmette and purchase a muffaletta at Tag’s Deli, best in the region, to let ripen on the bureau for late night eating. Then I walk into Schiro’s in the Marigny to pick up some Zapp’s chips, a 6 pack of Restoration Ale and a handful of Hubig’s Pies.
When I see the Savory Simon logo smiling at me from the rack at the Indian restaurant/quick mart, I know that Texas is far behind and I’m back in the arms of my favorite American city- New Orleans. As a place to purchase a coconut or lemon Hubig’s Pie, Schiro’s is one of the best locations in the city.
It’s less than 200 yards from the factory.
The factory that just burned down on Dauphine Street.
The first call came into the fire department at 4:30 am this morning, July 27th 2012. New Orleans fire fighters were on the scene within 5 minutes. Eventually, thirty five units responded with 95 fire fighters battling as hard as they could.
After a two hour battle the building was declared a total loss.
Originally a Dallas-Fort Worth company, Hubig’s Pies expanded to New Orleans in 1922 and began operating out of a former stable in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood.
While the Great Depression’s rationing of staples like flour and sugar led to the Texas branch’s shuttering, the New Orleans factory stayed open due the largesse of the workers. They donated their ration coupons to the company so they’d have a place to work.
Then Katrina came along in 2005 closing Hubig’s for four months. The building did not flood but the roof took a heavy pounding from the torrential rains and the fryers were not burbling again until early 2010.
New Orleans is the toughest town in the United States, and it also features the strongest sense of community of any American city. Hubig’s Pies will be back and it will be back stronger than ever. You can count on it.
Charles Parent, fire chief, put it most eloquently, speaking on behalf of his men who valiantly battled the blaze that razed the pie maker “Our guys put this out with their tears.”