Lauren Ko has no professional culinary training, but the former executive assistant from Seattle has become an Instagram phenom for her pies.
The so-called pie sculptor’s Instagram page features stunning photos of pies she has designed, mostly for her own amusement and to feed family and friends.
“I like to say I come from a family of phenomenal eaters,” Ko said. “They’re amazing cooks and bakers, but we never really made pies.”
But about a year and a half ago, Ko was job hunting and had time on her hands. She came across an interesting pie on Pinterest, and her creative instincts kicked in.
“I thought, ‘I can do that,’” she said.
Ko had long been interested in design, and pies seemed like a good way to merge that inclination with her love of food.
“I made a pie here and there for a while, and in August 2017 I started the Instagram page @lokokitchen just for fun and to have a place to store my food photos,” she said. “At first, all my followers were friends and family, but about a month later things just exploded because the Internet is crazy.”
By late January, Ko had about 117,000 followers on Instagram and food companies had begun reaching out to sponsor posts or explore partnerships.
Ko said she hopes to build a business from her pie work, but she’s not interested in becoming a pastry chef or opening a pie shop.
“I’m exploring what other opportunities there might be,” she said.