Local Bounty: April 1

Cane Patch Pies

Looking for some southern comfort—in the form of sweet potato pie? Look no further than the brothers of Cane Patch Pies. Jon and Tony Smalls, natives of South Carolina, both relocated here after serving in the Marine Corps and Army respectively. Jon was actually already in San Diego and hooked up with Venterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program at Archi’s Acres. According to his brother, Jon made the VSAT group their grandmother’s sweet potato pie. It was so impressive that he was told that was what he should create a business around. So, he called Tony and asked him to move here to help him. Tony also enrolled in VSAT and only last January did the brothers launch what is now Cane Patch Pies.

The brothers have a wide assortment of pies and sweet potato biscuits available for purchase on their website. They also now have booths at the Hillcrest and North Park farmers markets and the San Diego Public Market, where they sell slices of regular and vegetarian sweet potato pie, gluten-free sweet potato cookies, sweet potato brownies, and sweet potato biscuits. All are $3 each or two for $5. And, Tony, says, Whole Foods will be selling their sweet potato pies within the next couple of weeks at area stores. Their goal, says, Tony, is to open a small café, where they can serve customers full time.

Cane Patch Pies
Photo by Caron Golden

Sweet Potato Pie

All too often, sweet potato pie is heavy and overly sweet. Not these pies. It’s like eating sweet potato mousse—very light and rich in sweet potato flavor but just sweet enough. Add a dollop of whipped cream and you’ve got the perfect Sunday dinner dessert.

Sweet Potato Brownies

The brothers have a way with texture. These brownies, which have a touch of chocolate but really focus on the sweet potato, are the perfect sweetness and are wonderfully light—almost cakelike. Fabulous with a cup of coffee or tea.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Biscuits can be a tricky business. I’ve had some that turn rock hard if not eaten within moments of leaving the oven. These are not those, but they definitely benefit from reheating. And, of course, a warm biscuit just cries out for slathering with whipped sweet butter. Or dunking in maple syrup. Or drizzling with honey. On a plate with fried chicken or ribs? Count me in!

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