For travelers of Interstate 65, there is a perfect destination to the North of Nashville, Tennessee, that provides a wonderful backdrop for a break from traveling. For years Franklin, Kentucky has been known as the home of Kentucky Downs (a first class race track and gambling facility), PGA Tour favorite Kenny Perry and his golf course and a great variety of local shops and restaurants to lure the interest of passersby on the Interstate! However, over the past few years Franklin, Kentucky has become known for one more thing, Kentucky Whoopie Pies.
Kentucky Whoopie Pies were dreamed up by Mary and Trey Pitt, who were looking for a way to generate some additional revenue and value for the family farming operation. For those who have not had the opportunity to taste these delightful treats at an NTPA Grand National event, you may wonder what a Whoopie Pie is. Trey Pitt explained: “A Whoopie Pie is really an East Coast thing! The product has its origins in the states of Maine and Pennsylvania.” “The biggest difference in the regions is the filling. Some use marshmallow crème while others use butter crème filling, and all use a standard cake textured cookie. The fun part is that while its name is pie it really is not" added Trey Pitt.
After breaking ground on the idea and concept of Kentucky Whoopie Pies, Mary and Trey began to brainstorm a way to promote the new product. Their basic idea was to develop an online business, but further consideration lead them down another path. They chose to look to what they knew and that of course was the sport of Truck and Tractor Pulling. Trey and Mary can trace their involvement in the sport straight back to (Trey's father and Mary's husband) John. John, a Super Farm competitor was gaining a strong reputation as a threat for the victory at each event he rolled into with his Internationals known as the Ragin' Bull and Ragin’ Bull II.
Kentucky Whoopies were introduced at a few events on the Mid South Pullers circuit and select events in Ocala, Florida and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. While Mary focused on refining the process of baking, Trey began to dream up new concepts for promoting their tasty treats. Those concepts lead him to contact events who may be interested in bringing these unique products to their fan base. With a lot of hard work and some great connections, the interest in Kentucky Whoopies grew! In March of 2011, Kentucky Whoopie Pies took a big step in their marketing efforts when they teamed up as a sponsor of the National Tractor Pulling Association. The impressions that the Pitts were able to create through this sponsorship were unreal and lead to a large increase in those who were craving their favorite flavor!
As the popularity of their brand grew, the demand of baking these fan favorite desserts required more time in the bakery. A new stand-alone certified kitchen was constructed on the family farm before the first Whoopie Pie was released and the Pitt’s were becoming quite familiar with it. A typical work week requires the Pitts to fire up the ovens from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. three days a week. In that time frame they can make approximately 4500 individual cakes featuring their signature filling, packaged with their logo, just waiting to reach the hands of Kentucky Whoopie's adoring fans.
The love pullers and fans possess for their favorite flavor serves as a true testament to Mary Pitt's baking prowess. Mary, an avid baker already, turned her focus to learning the process of commercial production. In just a few short years, the variety of flavors that have enriched the ever growing Kentucky Whoopie name have been: Classic Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chip, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Vanilla, Lemon Pie, Maple Pancake, Red Velvet, and Apple Pie. Omitted from this list are specific flavors that were custom made for two of the NTPA's nationally recognized events. Chapel Hill, Tennessee’s Super National pull featured a mouth watering orange creamsicle flavored Whoopie, while the Enderle Pull-Off bolstered their own Chocolate Covered Cherry flavoring!
After one full season on the NTPA Grand National circuit the Pitts are excited to hook up the trailer and make their way across the country following the 2012 season! "While our original thought was to create an on-line product, we knew after our first pull that we wanted to develop a relationship with the Tractor Pulling Family and direct our product towards them. Long hours in production, traveling to events and selling at the events is our routine, and we love it! We have made so many new friends and met great people who are involved in this sport!
Another exciting addition for 2012 is the introduction of the Kentucky Whoopie Maker! The former Ragin’ Bull II International is now carrying the distinct Kentucky Whoopie logo right on the side of 1466 sheet metal. After a successful weekend to kick off 2012 at the Midwest Winter Nationals, the Kentucky Whoopie Maker is well on its way to developing the impressions the Pitts hope for!
If you haven't already had an opportunity to enjoy one of these amazing dessert treats, make a point to stop by the Kentucky Whoopie tent and grab your favorite flavor on the 2012 NTPA Pulling Circuit! As many have said in the past, reach on in there and get you one!