updated 02/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
Those who dialed the Pie Lady included editors at William Morrow, the publishing house, who wanted to put out a cookbook featuring her creations. Due out in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas 1994, the book is a coup for Morrow, since it will be the first lime Clayborne reveals her recipes. (Not even her five employees are privy to the secrets behind her popular concoctions.)
On Jan. 12, the Pie Lady moved from her original store to a bigger location on Florida Street in downtowm Memphis and her entire stock of 100 pies was sold out by noon. Clayborne has also established a toll-free number for long-distance orders and this summer plans to open a Pie Lady museum to inspire future entrepreneurs.
For Clayborne, success is sweet in part because it allows her to support Eugenia, who is herself the mother of sons Carmi, 9, and Ahab, 5. "I want to bake my daughter back to health," Clayborne says, adding that her immediate goal is to make enough money to hire a personal aide for Binkins, who is physically incapacitated and lives in a local nursing home. Clayborne's ultimate dream: opening a rehab hospital to serve others like Binkins.
"What makes her so inspirational," says correspondent David Hutchings, who interviewed Clayborne, "is the quiet grace with which she conducts her daily life. She has found some peace and understanding in an unfair world. And look out! There's sorcery in those pies!"