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Pie Mentor Retires Her Rolling Pin

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EUGENE, Ore. — Mom’s Pies is a local institution.

It’s been around for more than 40 years, most of those up along Highway 126. But a fresh start in a new location could also signal the end of an era.

Bertha Nyseth could probably make a perfect pie in her sleep. She’s been doing this for decades.

“I say 30 years, but I can’t give you an exact number. I can’t remember what year I went to work at Mom’s Pies,” Nyseth said.

She’s rolled the dough, filled the tins, and crimped the crust on thousands of pies over the years. Her first stint at Mom’s Pies was at its spot along Highway 126.

“My folks bought Mom’s Pies in the ’70s and I bought it from them in the ’90s,” said Louis Sangermano, Mom’s Pies Owner.

Sangermano closed up shop in 2003 and reopen in downtown Eugene last year.

“We do miss it upriver. It was a very special place. It had the cards on the ceiling and such, but we do feel like we’re a little more year-round here,” Sangermano said.

The venue’s new, sure. But it pays tribute to its roots with a mural on the wall, and the same recipes it’s served up since the 1940s.

“A lot of people are walking in saying, ‘Is this the same place? Is this the same pie maker?’” Sangermano said.

It does, for now. Nyseth, who’s 85, is getting ready to hang up her apron at Mom’s Pies.

“It is very hard work and I only do this for three hours,” Nyseth said.

For three hours one day a week, she’ll be rolling, mixing, filling, crimping and leaving her mark at least for a little while longer.

“I enjoy it,” Nyseth said.

Even after Nyseth retires, the owner of Mom’s Pies says don’t worry, the recipe will be the same. You can taste it for yourself at the shop along 11th and Willamette.

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