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Celebrate Goodness

Slices of life that inspire.

At Kern’s Kitchen, we’re inspired by goodness in all its forms. We taking the time to share great slices of life here with you, examples of how we’ve been inspired by others in simple ways. We invite you to join us in celebrating goodness: tell your own stories to us on Facebook or simply read and enjoy these moments we’ve shared. We hope it makes your day sweeter.

About Our Blog

My name is Jon Rupp.  I am The Pie Guy at Kern’s Kitchen where we have been baking Derby-Pie® chocolate nut pie since 1954.  At Kern’s Kitchen we pride ourselves on 3 things,

  1. You guessed it...…PIE!!!
  2. Providing a memorable experience
  3. And Celebrating Goodness


This Blog’s main theme is centered on #3 – CELEBRATING GOODNESS

For us, Celebrating Goodness matters because it is really the core to what we do. Think about it, when do you have pie? You have pie when you are happy. You might have it to celebrate a special event or holiday. You might be excited about an achievement, or relieved to have weathered a challenge. You might just be enjoying a day with loved ones. Those moments are important and we think they should be recognized, talked about, remembered in special ways. 

Having lived in Louisville, Kentucky all my life (except the 4 ½ years while I was at college, don’t judge me I had fun) I fully embrace everything local and the exciting events Louisvillians have the pleasure of enjoying every year.  We truly are lucky to live in what I believe is the northern most southern city (hope I didn’t confuse you with that one).  This Blog will share my journeys of bringing the pie to the people (that’s what I like to call it when we get a new customer), experiencing new events and restaurants in my travels. I'll be sharing with you the goodness in my life.  Along the way I will also share the things that you, our readers, tell us about. We're really excited to hear your stories and share them here.  

So who is the Pie Guy?

I am the great grandson of Walter and Leaudra Kern.  In the 1950’s my great grandparents were managing the Melrose Inn in Prospect, KY – where Derby-Pie® was born!  How am I related to them when I don’t have the Kern surname you ask?  Walter and Leaudra had a daughter – Mary Kern.  Mary married my Grand Pa - Frank Rupp in 1951.  They had 4 children, the oldest my dad Alan Rupp.  Big Al or Kingpin as he likes to be called (I call him dad) has been working in the family business since Walter and Leaudra needed help with the 1973 Derby.  He was attending Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green at the time and began making weekend trips home that spring of 1973.  He never went back to BG.   Dad has transformed the business from baking 6 pies at a time, cooling them on my Great grandparents back porch to current day, where Kern’s Kitchen now bakes more than 120,000 pies per year!   
Don’t be fooled though, one man still bakes every single pie that comes out of our facility, we still crack our own eggs, and we still make our own dough!   Our dough remains hand-made and provides a crust that is as flaky as the pies from your childhood.   Yes one man bakes all the pies. We have additional production assistants that assist with packaging and set up but NO one is even allowed in the mixing room when our Production Mgr. is mixing the famous recipe.

So how did Derby-Pie® chocolate nut pie come about?  Here is the abridged version…
In need of a signature dessert while managing the Melrose Inn; Walter, Leaudra, and their son George developed a recipe for a chocolate walnut pie.  As my father has told me for years they couldn’t quite agree upon a name for this exquisite dessert they had put so much effort into developing.  What did anyone do in the 1950s that couldn’t decide on something?  They each put their favorite names into a hat….and derby pie was the lucky winner that day.

My Grand Ma - Mary resides in Kings Mountain, NC and loves to play bridge and watch Dr. Phil.  She was involved during the early years of the business, always providing a helping hand when needed.  The cooking gene definitely did not skip her.  Her chocolate chip cookies and Hot Brown are unlike anything I have ever tasted.  I dream about them.  My mouth waters anytime we discuss the holidays…because that is when I know I will over indulge in classic old school Kern cooking. Who knows I may just share some of her closely guarded recipes one day…Remember I am here to Celebrate Goodness!