Aligning its debut with National Pie Day, the City of Kyle is ready to move forward with its plan to become the official "Pie Capital of Texas."
During the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday, members of Kyle’s staff spoke on the city’s initiative to encourage businesses to become "certipied" and gain the official pie capital trademark.
City Manager Scott Sellers said a community needs a unique draw to generate economic and tourist foot traffic.
“What our group is trying to do is find another reason for people to move to Kyle,” Sellers said. “From a tourism standpoint, we really haven’t had anything built in, so by becoming certified as a city, we have to brand it and [having] the logos with it adds to the argument that we have something unique that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Chief of Staff Jerry Hendrix said that the city has been brainstorming for years on how to brand the city.
Special Events Specialist Sarah Watson said she hopes that identifying the community will bring everyone together.
“There is somewhat of a divide between east-side and west-side Kyle or Hays or Lehman. This one brand helps bring us all together, and it give us something positive to talk about,” Watson said, “One thing that we’ve struggled with our brainstorming sessions and as we grow is who are we? What makes us proud to live in Kyle?”
Along with hosting pie-related events, like the inaugural Pie in the Sky hot-air balloon festival, the city hopes local business becomes a piece of the pie in making Kyle a trademark city.
The initiative asks businesses to incorporate pie into their business. For example, Hampton Inn in Kyle gives out pie-shaped and -scented candles to guest and businesses, and Broadway Bank will be the official sponsor for all pie-eating contests in Kyle. Broadway Bank is looking for a way to make a pie-shaped piggy bank, and Sky Realty Kyle gives pies bearing its logo to new customers who buy a home with them.
"We’re trying to get everyone to buy into the whole pie brand by offering something unique from their business that will become ‘certipied.’ It’s not just that we have a community event. We are putting our business, our resources, our money behind the initiatives,” Sellers said in an earlier meeting. “The more buy-in we get into this brand, the better opportunity we will have as we go out and recruit companies to say ‘Hey, the community supports the brand. This is how they are doing it.’”
Even though Kyle is not yet the official "Pie Capital of Texas," the city has joined the American Pie Council and applied for an official trademark. The city must show it is actively using the trademark to be officiated.
Tonight, Kyle will have what it calls a "procla-pie" at 5:30 p.m. in front of the historic train depot next to City Hall, which will be the official proclamation for Kyle Pie Day.
On March 14, the city asks residents to help someone make a pie for Pi Day—an annual observation of the date matching the mathematical symbol for Pi, or 3.14.
As the project bakes and the plan is more revealed, the city will unveil an online Kyle Style store for visitors and locals to purchase items relating to Kyle or pie. There will be an official website, and the city will continue with having its Pie in the Sky hot-air balloon festival during Labor Day weekend.