Staff of the hotel standing on the front steps of the hotel smiling at a camera


June 01,2021

Stafford’s Hospitality and Jespersen’s are melding a tradition together, making pies.

Jesperson’s closed its restaurant and storefront in 2016, after a 114-year run of serving downtown Petoskey with the best slice of Pie, receiving national and regional mentions by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Midwest Living Magazine.

The business of pie started in 1903.

“The Jesperson Family is honored and proud to continue the legacy of our pie baking tradition with Stafford’s Hospitality. As only the fifth pie maker in our 114 year history, trained by Bob Jesperson personally, it is my honor to pass on the recipes and secrets to the skilled staff at Stafford’s,” Bill Fraser notes.

Over his years, Fraser has made a quarter million pies. When asked his favorite pie, he gently replies, “the last one.”

I feel there is no better partner than Stafford’s Hospitality to continue The Jesperson’s pie tradition. Our long time customers won’t be disappointed,” Fraser adds.

Over this past winter, Fraser has been working alongside Stafford’s Corporate Executive Chef, DJ Flynn & team, to pass along the family recipes of 114 years. They have made over six dozen pies to ensure the recipes are perfect, which are all made from scratch including the crust and all the fillings. Most of the recipes include local fruits so flavors will vary throughout the year. Luckily for us, Michigan is the capital of pie cherries, which will be available year-round.

“I have enjoyed working with  Bill learning the recipes and techniques to recreate Jesperson’s Pies and I’m looking forward to offering this product at Stafford’s.” Corporate Executive Chef DJ Flynn notes.

Stafford’s, founded in 1961 by then 22-year-old Stafford Smith, celebrates its 60th Anniversary of business this year.

“This in an excellent way to celebrate our sixtieth year of business,” Reg Smith, Chairman of Stafford’s Hospitality notes. “Two family-owned businesses that have the same vision, bringing together good food, hospitality and of course — pie!  

The pies are made from scratch in the Bakery & Commissary Kitchen at Stafford’s Bay View Inn. They are available for order beginning Monday, May 3, 2021. Orders can be placed by calling Stafford’s Bay View Inn at class=" " aria-label="231-347-2771 about TWO FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES COME TOGETHER FOR ONE GREAT PIE">231-347-2771. Prices begin at $19.95 – $22.95.

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