2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/19/2017 6:26 PM

Libertyville’s Bach Brothers excel in filling it up

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  • Brothers Jordan, left, and Harrison Bach have settled on some sweet teamwork in pie-making; Harrison is senior standout on Libertyville's boys basketball team and Jordan is a freshman at Indiana.

    Brothers Jordan, left, and Harrison Bach have settled on some sweet teamwork in pie-making; Harrison is senior standout on Libertyville's boys basketball team and Jordan is a freshman at Indiana.
    Submitted photo

  • Libertyville's Harrison Bach (33) looks for an opening against St. Viator during Thanksgiving tournament play.

      Libertyville's Harrison Bach (33) looks for an opening against St. Viator during Thanksgiving tournament play.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer


For Harrison Bach, making shots on the basketball court is as easy as pie.

Check that, it's easier than pie.

In fact, making shots is a piece of cake compared to pie.

Pie is tough.

And messy.

And a little stressful.

But pie is a labor of love for Bach, a senior basketball player at Libertyville whose second favorite place after the gym is the kitchen.

Bach is a baker in his free time, a pie maker to be exact.

Yes, pie maker.

Bach is 17.

He knows what you're thinking.

"Yep. My friends make fun of me," laughed Bach, a 6-foot guard for the Wildcats. "Until they taste my pies. Then, they want more."

And Bach obliges. He's used to making pies en masse, and pies on demand.

Pie is the family business, more specifically a business between brothers. Harrison and his older brother Jordan, an 18-year-old freshman at Indiana University and a 2016 Libertyville graduate who played football and baseball for the Wildcats, founded Bach Bros. Pies in 2012.

Teammates in the kitchen, they have juggled schoolwork, sports and their social lives around the business of pies. And so far, their efforts have all been for a good cause.

"It's kind of like we've been doing a bake sale on steroids all these years," Jordan Bach said. "It's cool because we've started a business and this is something that Harry and I can tell our kids about years from now. It will be part of our story.

"But on top of that, we're helping a group of people who are less fortunate than us. And that's pretty special."

Every year, students in each homeroom class at Libertyville are required to come up with a fundraiser of some kind that will raise enough money to buy Christmas presents for an adopted family that could use the assistance.

Jordan, who was beginning to pick up on his father Ethan's affinity for cooking, came up with the idea to sell pies for his homeroom class. Harrison helped him in the kitchen.

The boys do everything from buy ingredients, to make the pies from scratch to package and deliver the pies. The pies arrive in white pie boxes with the Bach's own special logo on the front.

"I got into pies because I started cooking with my dad and one day he put me in charge of dessert and he said, 'You know what is really good? French silk pie.' So I looked up a recipe and I made it. It was really good. I was in eighth grade.

When Jordan decided to make pies for the school fundraiser, he expanded the menu from just French silk (the most popular flavor) to apple, pumpkin and turkey pot pie as well.

The brothers charge $15 a pie and hand-deliver the pies within a day of them being made. They use the double ovens and big island in mom Joy's kitchen. On a busy day, they'll make as many as 20 pies.

The project coordinates with the holidays, so pie season in the Bach house starts just before Thanksgiving and runs through the New Year.

"Everyone in our family knows when pie season is and they kind of try to keep the kitchen clear," Jordan said. "Any free moment, we're baking. We get some music going, something up-beat and we have fun with it. By the end of the night, we're covered in flour, and the floor is pretty messy. But we clean everything up, and we always keep our cooking surfaces clean."

The brothers, who have used word-of-mouth advertising to target the high school community in Libertyville, have sold and delivered nearly 200 pies in the last two years. In the last five years, they've raised nearly $4,000.

"This year was tough for me because we had Thanksgiving and Christmas (basketball) tournaments on some of our busiest days with the pies," said Harrison, a team captain for the Wildcats who averages about 11 points per game. "I make the crust by hand and that can be a lot of work. And some of the fillings can take four to five hours to make. Some days we might spend all day in the kitchen to make sure we can keep up (with the orders).

"I get a lot less sleep (during pie season) for sure. But you know you have to endure it because it's so worth it. We're helping kids and families who don't have what we do."

From here, the Bach brothers have endless possibilities.

Everyone in the family would love to see the boys take the pie business to the next level: from school fundraiser charity to a real, for-profit business.

"I think about how to do that all the time," said Jordan, a pre-business major at Indiana. "I'd love to see where this can go. I've always thought about if we could get on 'Shark Tank.' But then I think about how Mr. Wonderful would make fun of me for having more of a hobby than a business.

"I would love to get this to be more like a business. It's just pies, but we have perfected our recipes. The pies are so good and I don't think you could find the quality that we have anywhere else."

With the pie business always in the back of his mind as a possibility, Jordan would like to combine an education in business with culinary school. Harrison, who is really good with numbers and has been accepted to Minnesota and Michigan, might focus his energies in college on math. But that means he could also be the numbers man in the pie business.

"I think about how much time I've put into basketball to make myself a better athlete, and I've put a lot of time into food and baking, too," Harrison said. "I'm not sure what I'll do for a career, but I know that baking and cooking will last me a lifetime and I want to be good at that, too."


• Follow Patricia on Twitter: @babcockmcgraw

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