Fireman Derek has opened a pie shop and café in the former Clive's space at 2818 N. Miami Ave.
"Fireman" Derek Kaplan tells Short Order that the opening of a combination baking facility, retail space, and café was inevitable. "I always knew I had to open a shop. People would call all the time to order a pie, and my truck would only take me so far. Plus, I was tired of coming home at 1 in the morning. All the worthwhile food truck events are in the evening, and by the time you leave, clean up, and park the truck, it's past midnight."
Kaplan scouted suitable locations for a while before committing to the perfect spot. "I wanted to stay in Wynwood, and I really like North Miami Ave. That's where it's at." Kaplan had a baking facility a few blocks away but has moved all production to the new space. Although Fireman Derek's shop just opened to the public, he's been baking there for a while.
Right now, Fireman Derek's offers pies, either whole or by the slice. Kaplan explains that although flavors will vary by season, some will be available year-round, such as his famous key lime, pecan, and apple pies. "There will be five or six selections daily, plus a few flavors of cheesecake. It's summer, so berries and cherries are in season. In the fall, we'll go with heartier flavors, like pumpkin." Slices sell for $5 to $6, and whole pies run $20 to $25.
The shop will also offer home-baked cookies ($2 each), ice-cream sandwiches made with Azucar ice cream ($5 to $6), and ice-cream shakes made with a slice of pie in the blender ($6 to $7).
Also, Kaplan wants to begin serving breakfast and lunch in about a month. "We'll have breakfast in a bowl -- hash browns, eggs, and grits in a to-go container. For lunch I'll make three or four different hearty sandwiches, like I'd serve at the fire station. I'll also have a few salads, and I'm going to try to have at least one homemade soup a week." He plans to offer Panther cold-brew coffee too.
The café has seating for about a half-dozen people, plus four counter stools. Outdoor seating is in the works.
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Fireman Derek's is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will open earlier once breakfast service begins, probably in August. And, in case you're wondering, Kaplan is still a firefighter -- a firefighter who happens to make delicious pies. That's a true hero!