By Scott Cherry • Tulsa World

Michael Minden said his “power of pie” designer license plate and signature coconut cream pie date to the early 2000s after he and wife Carol had purchased Back Street Bistro in Jenks.

“I love coconut cream pie,” he said. “Carol and I went all over town trying to find a decent coconut cream pie back then and didn’t have any luck. I decided the only way I would have one would be to create one.”

Minden, who today is chef-proprietor of Michael V’s, a restaurant he and Carol started in 2006, said he began experimenting with recipes until he developed one he liked best.

“We ran it in the restaurant, and people were saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is incredible,’ and I thought maybe I had something there,” he said. “I started out making two or three a day for the restaurant, then it was four or five, then six a day.

“Then people started asking me if I sold the coconut cream pies whole, and I thought about it and said, ‘Well, sure. How many do you want?’ Before long, it was my signature dessert.”

Minden said he didn’t start tracking sales of the coconut cream pies until he opened Michael V’s, 8222 E. 103rd St. in the Palazzo Shopping Center.

“I figure we have sold more than 50,000 pieces of pie and more than 5,000 whole pies,” he said.

“During the holidays I will sell 80 to 100 coconut cream pies. We also offer cherry, apple, chocolate cream and deep-dish pumpkin.”

He said the past few years he has started making coconut cream pie tarts for brunches and to take to charity events.

“We recently participated in the Iron Gate benefit,” Minden said. “When they called they didn’t ask me if I wanted to come. They just said bring us those coconut cream tarts.”

Minden has had success with other pies, too. A few years ago he won $15,000 at a national General Mills competition with a Butterfinger cream cheese pie.

And what about that “power of pies” license plate?

“One year on Pi Day I suggested we sell pieces of pie for $3.14, and Carol and (longtime server) Rick (Muttony) said it would never work,” Minden said. “It turned out we got so busy and sold so many pieces of pie that whenever Carol or Rick would come through the kitchen, I would raise a fist and say, ‘The power of pies.’ Then I put it on my license plate.

“I’ve been very blessed, and pies have been very good to me.”

Twitter: @ScottCherryTW

Where to buy holiday pies

Area restaurants and bakeries are among places to order holiday pies and desserts. All major supermarkets also carry pies. Most have a deadline, so customers are encouraged to order as early as possible.

50’s DINER

1500 W. Kenosha St.,

Broken Arrow

918-806-6999

ANTOINETTE BAKING CO.

207 N. Main St.

918-764-8404

BLUE MOON CAFE

3512 S. Peoria Ave.

918-749-7800

BOSTON DELI

6231 E. 61st St.

918-492-4745

BREAD AND BUTTER KITCHEN & BAKERY

3837 E. 51st St.

918-960-2070

BROWNIE’S HAMBURGER STAND

2130 S. Harvard Ave.

918-744-0320

6577 E. 71st St.

918-398-6615

CAFÉ YUM

6568 E. 51st St.

The Farm Shopping Center

918-628-1000

CHERRY STREET KITCHEN

1441 S. Quaker Ave.

918-884-3408

COFFEE HOUSE ON CHERRY STREET

1502 E. 15th St.

918-779-6137

COLEMAN’S BAKERY

118 N. Seminole Ave.,

Okmulgee

918-756-0560

CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE

8008 E. 31st St.

918-610-0414

7128 S. Olympia Ave.

918-447-4505

9475 N. Owasso Expressway, Owasso

918-272-3445

DILLY DINER

402 E. Second St.

918-938-6382

FREEWAY CAFÉ

465 S. Sheridan Road

918-836-8150

1547 E. Third St.

918-836-6726

5849 S. 49th West Ave.

918-292-8678

FRONT PORCH BAKERY

18435 S. Highway 66, Claremore

918-341-7505

HAMMETT HOUSE

1616 W. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore

918-341-7333

JANE’S DELICATESSEN

2626 E. 11th St.

918-872-0501

LE LOUVRE FRENCH CAFÉ

8313 S. Memorial Drive

918-286-6019

LITTLE J’S BAKESHOPPE

10032 S. Sheridan Road

918-995-7979

LORI’S SWEET SINSATIONS

862 W. Taft Ave., Sapulpa

918-224-4600

LYNN’S BAKERY

227 W. Rogers Blvd.,

Skiatook

918-396-3888

MERRITT’S BAKERY

3202 E. 15th St.

918-747-2301

9521 S. Delaware Ave.

918-296-9000

4930 W. Kenosha St.,

Broken Arrow

918-250-1607

MICHAEL V’S

8222 E. 103rd St.

918-369-0319

NUT HOUSE

26677 S. Highway 66,

Claremore

918-266-1604

OLLIE’S STATION

4070 Southwest Blvd.

918-446-0524

PALACE CAFE

1301 E. 15th St.

918-582-4321

QUEENIE’S

1834 Utica Square

918-749-3481

ST. AMON BAKING CO.

6333 E. 120th Court, Bixby

918-364-2143

SHILOH’S

2604 N. Aspen Ave.,

Broken Arrow

918-254-1500

TAKE 2: A RESONANCE CAFÉ

309 S. Main St.

918-861-4555

VILLAGE INN

2745 S. Harvard Ave.

918-742-3515

5230 S. Yale Ave.

918-496-1207

8320 E. 71st St.

918-254-7623

WHITE RIVER FISH MARKET

1708 N. Sheridan Road

918-835-1910

1105 E. Kenosha St.,

Broken Arrow

918-449-0366


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Scott Cherry 918-581-8463

scott.cherry@tulsaworld.com

Scene Writer

Scott is in his second tour of duty with the Tulsa World. He was a sports writer during his first stop. Since returning to the World in 1992, he has been the food writer and now restaurant critic and wine columnist. Phone: 918-581-8463