American Pie Funds Life in Perfect Weather in Ecuador

Before coming to Ecuador, Robin Stock and her husband, Joe, lived in Wyoming, where she worked at a local diner as a waitress and pie-maker.

They imagined living somewhere exotic where their money would go further and winters would be either milder…or non-existent. So three years ago they moved to Cotacachi, Ecuador, on Thanksgiving Day to begin their expat adventure.

They found the weather and the cost of living they were looking for. Directly on the equator, yet high up in the Andes Mountains, Cotacachi is as close to eternal springtime as it gets, with the temperature rarely going above 80 F or below 45 F at any time of year.

And with an abundance of fresh, affordable local farm produce available at the local mercado, extremely low utilities and property taxes, and plentiful, cheap public transportation, the cost of living can be stunningly low.

With all this good weather and affordability, Robin was soon looking for a hobby or activity to fill her time in her newly adopted home.

So she started doing what she knew…she began baking holiday pies. Word got around Cotacachi and her pies were in demand. She soon found herself baking from her home and selling her pies in local markets and businesses.

Robin began her word-of-mouth advertising in Cotacachi early, introducing herself as “The Pie Lady” to new arrivals in town. And her husband has recently upped her local branding efforts.

“He calls me ‘The Pie Princess’ now,” she says.

Thanks to the lower cost of doing business in Ecuador, Robin was able to take advantage of the opportunity that presented itself.

“On the street in town where I live, a local gift shop came up for sale, and it happened to have enough room in the back for a pie kitchen. My business had long outgrown my little kitchen at home. So I thought that a gift business would complement my baking business.”

Robin moved into her new space and updated it with an important piece of equipment…a brand new commercial oven. After breaking it in, she used the trusty local word-of-mouth grapevine, along with Cotacachi’s well-trafficked social media internet sites, to announce a Grand Opening event.

Robin has some advice for anyone thinking about starting a business in another country.

“Network. Use knowledge of others who have moved to the area before you, especially those who have lived there for a long time. They know what niches need to be filled. And many times they have already forged relationships with local suppliers and know where to find the things you’ll need to start your own business.”

It’s all about new beginnings, according to the Pie Princess.

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