Biz Beat

January 7, 2009

Do you like pie? New biz will satisfy

Biz Beat

Latest news from the Modesto-area business scene

When it's cold outside, few things make you feel better than a nice, warm piece of pie.

Just in time to warm up our winter blues comes the new SonyPies. Owner Sonja Spence opened her pie business in October, working out of the Simply Cupcakes Bake Shoppe, 4459 Spyres Way, Suite C, Modesto (off McHenry and Bangs avenues).

This isn't Spence's first time baking pies. The Chicago native and Modesto resident began SonyPies in 2003 when she sold her creations each week at the Modesto Certified Farmers Market.

But in 2004 she closed her business when the bakery she worked out of got too busy, and returned to baking just for family and friends.

"Everybody always loved my pies and said you should go into business," Spence said. "I got to where that's really what I wanted to do."

So in October, Spence started baking professionally again, this time out of Simply Cupcakes.

Two of her pies — sweet potato and pecan — are featured on the Etouffeé restaurant menu in downtown Modesto. The rest are available for custom order at the shop.

While Spence does not have ready-made pies available yet, she plans to start offering them later this year. Besides sweet potato and pecan, her staples includes buttermilk, pumpkin and apple — many from her mother's old recipes. This year she plans to branch into cakes and cobblers.

For more information on SonyPies, or to get yourself a slice, call 596-3485.

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

After 21 years in business in the area, Yonan's Jewelers is consolidating to one location.

The Modesto store, 1809 McHenry Ave., began closing in November in preparation for a consolidation to the Turlock location, 2485 Geer Road.

The Modesto shop opened in 2002 while the Turlock store has been Yonan's headquarters since 1996.

Both stores are in the midst of closing and consolidation sales with some jewelry up to 80 percent off. Owner Ed Yonan said there is too much inventory for one store.

He hopes to have the consolidation completed by the end of he month, but it could go until Valentine's Day, depending on sales.

Yonan said he made the decision to close the Modesto shop because dividing his time between the two stores had become too difficult.

Both stores are open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 656-9219 ...

And finally, regulars at the Thailand Restaurant had the floor taken out from under them, literally.

The downtown Modesto eatery, 950 10th St., No. 17, has been closed since Dec. 15 for work on the building's foundation. The floor has been taken out and concrete base and supports reinforced.

Owner Pheng Bouathong said the restaurant should reopen in the next two weeks and be good as new, with new flooring to boot. For more information, call 544-0505.

Have an item for Business Beat? Contact Marijke Rowland at The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; 578-2284 or

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