People stand in line for these Wynwood pies. Now they’re coming to a new neighborhood

You will no longer have to drive to Wynwood to buy Fireman Derek’s pies. A new store is opening in Coconut Grove in 2018.
You will no longer have to drive to Wynwood to buy Fireman Derek’s pies. A new store is opening in Coconut Grove in 2018.

The Wynwood pie shop with a bittersweet backstory and extraordinary pies is coming to Coconut Grove.

Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop will open a storefront this summer at 3435 Main Highway in the booming Grove, co-owner Derek Kaplan said. The Grove is a natural fit for Fireman Derek’s second store, Kaplan said, since it puts his pies within grasp of more Miamians and also is in the neighborhood Kaplan has called home the last 10 years.

“There are a lot of people who live out west who wouldn’t drive to Wynwood for pie on a Tuesday but would definitely drive to Coconut Grove,” Kaplan said.

Fireman Derek concept
A rendering of the upcoming Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop opening this summer in Coconut Grove.

Kaplan’s pies have been a hit since he opened his tiny bake shop in Wywnood in July of 2014 with Kim Murdock, the widow of his close friend, fellow firefighter Patrick Murdock. Murdock, a longtime entrepreneur and City of Miami firefighter, died of heart complications in 2013 but had always told his wife he wanted to help Kaplan open a pie shop.

Murdock and Kaplan went into business together, and the pie shop has boomed.

Kaplan’s Key lime pie is what put him on the map. But a regular staple of creations — from a fudgy s’mores pie to a salted caramel “crack pie” — helped Fireman Derek’s pies land on restaurant menus and inspired lines at the Wynwood store.

Most of the baking has been done at an off-site commissary kitchen in Little Haiti since 2016. Fireman Derek’s pies are distributed to stores and restaurants throughout South Florida.

Kaplan said the Coconut Grove store will be a test to see whether they can replicate their Wynwood success. He says he is looking at spaces in the Dadeland Mall, Doral and Aventura for subsequent stores.

“We feel this is a good way to expand the business,” he said.

The Grove pie shop is expected to open by July, when it will join a host of new restaurants that have led to a neighborhood renaissance. Next-door neighbor Boho and nearby Atchana Thai earned three out of four stars (Very Good) from the Miami Herald last year.

James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz opened one of his Genuine Pizza shops (previously Harry’s Pizzeria) there and is planning a larger sit-down restaurant. “Chopped” winner and Eating House owner Giorgio Rapicavoli heads the kitchen at a second restaurant, Glass and Vine, which opens to the scenic Peacock Park.

Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop

Current location: 2818 N Miami Ave, Miami; 786-703-3623

Future location: 3435 Main Highway, Coconut Grove