After a good run on the Near West Side, humble sweet and savory pies was forced out of its Allen Street home. But, at the same time, owner Jennifer Mans is thrilled to move her bakery to the Near East Side, and into the former home of Sophia's Bakery & Cafe.
Mans said she looked "far and wide" in the same neighborhood around West High School, but came up empty.
"The shop has been here for five years, and I could not imagine leaving," she said. "But I couldn't find a tiny kitchen in this neighborhood. So I had to expand out. The former Sophia's space is a pretty perfect fit."
Mans, 25, began working for humble's original owners, Shelly Cross and Jill Long, shortly after they opened. She bought the business from them in September 2016 after they announced they were going to sell or close, she said.
With the new location at 831 E. Johnson St., Mans said she is keeping the same recipes and expanding with some more of her own.
"It's a lot humble 1.0," but in the past few years she's been introducing many of her own recipes to the shop. "So now it's a blend of the two."
The offerings are all bakery -- and all types of pies -- including traditional pies, hand-held pies, pinch pies and quiches.
On weekends in the new place, Mans is hoping to expand her galettes and other savory options for brunch. The hours will also expand a little, but she hasn't set them yet.
Mans will close the Allen Street location Friday and hopes to open on Johnson Street the week of Dec. 11. "We'll see as it gets closer," she said.
In terms of owning a bakery at a young age, Mans said she was "in the right place at the right time for a pretty incredible opportunity for growing the pie shop, and it's been great."
Mans grew up in upstate New York and went to UW-Madison, studying English and communications. She baked throughout college, and after finishing, the first couple of jobs she took were baking jobs.
She is keeping the name humble sweet and savory pies, but took out the period the original owners used after humble. "Little h, no period is the way I do it now... The lowercase h, I think it's pretty charming."
Mans said her landlords on Allen Street are turning the humble kitchen into a retail space, so she wouldn't have been able to cook there once her lease ended.
She's sad to be moving, or "strong-armed" out of her lease, but is really excited for the new space.
"I loved Sophia's when it was open, so it feels really nice that it's another lady-owned bakery going in a former lady-owned bakery."