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'It belongs to them': Community helps Portland pie shop reopen after fire

Community support helped get Prosperity Pie Shoppe back in business in just 5 days

PORTLAND, Ore. — Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity Pie Shoppe has always been a place for the community, but after a fire last week owners found themselves relying on their community. Thanks in part to that support they reopened their doors within days.

Amy Jaffe is one slice of the three-person pie that owns the Multnomah Village business. On Sunday, she said she was still exhausted, but finally feeling some relief. "I've taken a deep breath now. I got my first full night's sleep last night," Jaffe said.

An oven fire on March 18 forced them to evacuate and close their doors.

"We had just opened the shop and were doing regular business and all of a sudden we started smelling some electrical smell coming from the oven," Jaffe said. "The space filled with that awful, electrical black smoke."

That smoke is what caused the brunt of the damage. The shop's food inventory was destroyed, and a major cleanup had to take place before they could reopen.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Owners believe it was an electrical malfunction with their oven, which was a complete loss in the fire. With the Multnomah Village community rallying around them, and some good insurance, they were back serving up pies, fellowship, and financial empowerment in just five days.

"The community, overwhelmingly, had been supportive and had been so incredibly generous and just giving back. It's meant so much to us," Jaffe said.

While insurance will cover much of the restoration and cleanup, owners say it was donations from their GoFundMe page that helped them buy a new oven, a cost this local business could not otherwise afford.

Employees will get some but not all their lost wages back from insurance. So, owners are making it a priority to give them their full paychecks. They hope to use donations to supplement that as well.

Money is something this shop knows all about. They offer financial coaching and classes to teach others how to be smart and savvy with their money.

Vivian Magruder has been coming to Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity Pies since it opened about three years ago. She comes for the inclusion and openness of the space, but also for the expert financial lessons.

"They've created a space where it's safe to walk through the door and admit, 'I have all this debt. I don't know how to pay it off,'" Magruder said.

Like many people, Magruder said it was hard to even talk about money, but she feels empowered to take charge of her finances.

"Just the thought of money made by bones shake," she said. "I have learned about money in a way I never learned."

Sacred Money Studios offers a range of prices for their services and scholarships so that anyone, no matter their income, can take control of their money.

This year the pie shop and studio also started the Second Chance Program alongside a nonprofit to help women coming out of prison find stability in the workforce.

Jaffe is a former police officer and knows the power and potential the program offers.

"It’s a special place in my heart for this program," Jaffe said.

The three owners will continue that mission of supporting the community after their community helped support them. "It just belongs to them and you can tell that they feel the love to them and that they're giving us the love back," Jaffe said.

Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity Pie Shoppe doesn’t just offer sweet and savory pies. They also have soups, salads, specialty café drinks and more.

For more information on their mission, events, and shop hours, visit their website.

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