Rising Star Pastry Chef Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie - Biography

Detroit , MI

November 2016

As anyone who’s been to Sister Pie in Detroit’s West Village neighborhood knows, Lisa Ludwinski is a creative type. She graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan in 2006 and headed to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a theater director. As New York often does, it distracted Ludwinski with food—especially, baked goods. One day she found herself at Christina Tosi’s quirky, renowned Milk Bar and was immediately entranced: she wanted to be in a bakery.

 Ludwinski started working at Milk Bar in the front of the house but made her way to the kitchen. Eager to expand her baking expertise, she secured funding through David Chang’s scholarship organization and staged at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor and Avalon International Breads in Detroit. Ludwinski returned to New York energized, and after working within the Momofuku organization for another year, she was ready to build something of her own.

What ended up as Sister Pie started pretty humbly in Ludwinski’s parents’ kitchen in Milford. Demand—for pies and cookies—increased dramatically, and Ludwinski found herself looking to settle into a brick and mortar space. That’s when the baker won $50,000 from Comerica Hatch Detroit, a contest honoring local entrepreneurs and independent retailers. Still needing cash, Ludwinski hosted a 24-hour dance-a-thon to raise another $25,000 and finally open her dream space, where she’s making and selling pastry with the kind of can-do creativity that overjoys a city. Sister Pie is raising the standards for pastry and pastry chefs in the reigon, and in 2016, Ludwinski won a StarChefs Rust Belt Rising Star Award.