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Gizdich Ranch pies a holiday tradition

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 27th, 2013


Jesse Garcia prepares baked apple pies for customer pickup Tuesday at Gizdich Ranch. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)


WATSONVILLE — The holidays are here, and for the denizens of the Pajaro Valley, that can only mean one thing: Gizdich Ranch pies.

At the ranch on Tuesday, a steady stream of customers who were lucky enough to pre-order (a necessity if you want to be guaranteed a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving) arrived to pick up their pies, after first checking in with ranch employee and acting gatekeeper of the pies Laura Garcia, who held a spreadsheet of all the pies that had been pre-ordered by customers.

“We are very busy,” she said. “Everyone loves our pumpkin pies.”

For more than 30 years, people have been coming from far and wide for the sweet, wholesome pies made fresh at Gizdich Ranch. Owner Nita Gizdich said this year they have already sold a “ton” of pies, with folks coming from Carmel, San Mateo, San Jose and farther afield to pick up their holiday treat. Gizdich Ranch pies are sold in select restaurants and shops throughout the region, but people still like to make the journey to the idyllic spot on Peckham Road to pick their pies up directly.

And when people leave the family-owned and operated ranch, many do so with arms filled with pies.

“They don’t just buy one; it’s amazing when they come walking out,” Gizdich said as she demonstrated someone carrying a stack of pies.

Gizdich said many businesses get in on the act and pick up pies for their holiday parties. And for those who want to impress their guests with their own baking skills, Gizdich supplies frozen take-in-bake pies, too.

“You don’t have to tell your friends you ‘made’ this pie — but you can say you ‘baked’ it!” she said.

Among the many customers who passed through the bake shop at Gizdich Ranch on Tuesday was Watsonville resident Merari Sayas, who came to the ranch with her mother to purchase two pumpkin pies in time for Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, by Tuesday, the only pumpkin pies available were for those customers who pre-ordered, but Sayas was happy to get a Dutch Apple pie, a favorite of her sisters who will be traveling from Modesto to spend Thanksgiving with her family in Watsonville.

Sayas said ever since her sister was pregnant seven years ago and developed a craving for Gizdich Ranch pies, the annual trip to the ranch for holiday pies has become a tradition.

“They are really good,” she said.

Gizdich Ranch is located at 55 Peckham Road in Watsonville. For information, call 722-1056.

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