By Tanya Henry
It has happened to all of us. A steep hill-climb, an abrupt stop or a hard right turn—and the carefully packed pumpkin pie goes flying from one side of the car to the other. Threats of “don’t mess up the dessert” go unheeded, and no matter how much bubble-wrap, cardboard or scrunched-up newspaper is used, often these favorite desserts arrive at their destination worse for the wear and tear.
Belvedere resident Michelle Kresser decided that she had had enough of this damaged desserts scenario and vowed to do something about it. She went to work in her basement creating (initially out of cardboard and lots of tape) what she has dubbed Pie Turtle—a non-slide pie carrier shaped like a turtle and made with rubberized food-grade plastic. The cleverly designed product features cleats on its bottom that dig into a car’s carpet or mat, and boasts a varying range of rings or cutouts, making it capable of transporting everything from 7-inch to 10-inch pies.
“The name reflects the characteristics of a turtle—slow and steady,” explains Kresser, who is originally from Nebraska and contends that the ‘cute aspect’ goes a long way in the Midwest.
After creating four different prototypes, Kresser has settled on the final iteration and is ready to go to market. However, she discovered that the mold needed to get the product up and running is quite expensive— $25,000. So, she did what any young, aspiring entrepreneur does these days: She started a Kickstarter campaign. Hoping to raise $35,000 (and pre-sell the Pie Turtles to those who donate) before the campaign ends in about a month, Kresser has raised more than $2,000 so far.
“We love to bake and think our idea is good, but we are hoping that by doing a Kickstarter campaign we will determine if there is interest out there,” she says.
Perhaps Kresser’s background in fashion (she works at Gap Outlet) has prompted her to offer cute T-shirts emblazoned with a turtle, of course, for every pledge of $20 or more. If the campaign succeeds, she promises that the carriers, which will retail for $29.99, will be available by March of 2017. To make a pledge or learn more, visit pieturtle.com.