Newswise — Pi or pie? With March 14 being celebrated around the nation as Pi Day, these homophones can be confusing, especially when baking pies is a popular way to celebrate the famous mathematical constant.
A Texas Tech University alumnus decided to combine these words and create something for everyone to enjoy on Pi Day: a Pi Pie Pan, a pan in the shape of the pi symbol designed for baking pies.
“It’s a fun way for people to show off being a little geeky while enjoying to cook,” said Garrett Heath, creator of the pan. “There’s no better way to make a pie on Pi Day than to have a pi-shaped pan.”
Heath graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and then again in 2005 with a master’s degree in industrial engineering. Five years after graduating, he said he had the idea of the pi pan, and after conducting a little research, realized a pan like that didn’t exist.
He found that there were many pi plates, which used aluminum foil or circular pie pans with 3.14 printed etched on, but there was nothing in the shape of the pi symbol.
“I dusted off some of my Texas Tech Autocad inventor skills and made some quick sketches of my ideas, showed some friends and then refined them over time,” Heath said.
While working on the Pi Pie Pan, Heath worked at his own start-up company and then changed jobs to work in San Antonio at Rackspace, where he currently works as a content marketer. Heath also maintains a food blog called www.saflavor.com.
In the beginning of the creation process, Heath explained his idea of the pi pan to two friends. They helped with design and manufacturing, while he focused on marketing the product.
When deciding who would want to purchase the Pi Pie Pan, Heath and his business partners thought interest would come from a specific market.
“We made a Venn diagram and we said there are geeks and then there are cooks, but there’s also an intersection of people who are both geeks and cooks,” he said. “That cross-section of people would really enjoy the pi pan.”
After three years in the creative and manufacturing process, the Pi Pie Pan officially launched in the summer of 2013, so this is the first Pi Day to have an official pi pan to celebrate with.
“I haven’t made a proper pie yet because I usually cook brownies or cornbread in it, but I am definitely going to use the Pi Pie Pan on March 14,” Heath said. “It would be an impossibility to not take advantage of the product.”
To learn more about the product or to order a Pi Pie Pan, visit www.pipiepan.com.