Belinda Garrett-Winslow and her family own a "one-in-a-melon” food truck.
Garrett-Winslow, owner of the Cutie Pies Concession food truck, started making her famous watermelon pie for parties and other events. It was always a hit, so she decided to turn it into a full-time gig with the food truck in 2016, with her first event at the Medieval Fair in Norman.
“(Watermelon pie is) very uncommon, and that’s … exactly why I started Cutie Pies is because of the watermelon pie,” Garrett-Winslow said.
Selling watermelon pies, watermelon lemonade and other mouth-watering dishes, Cutie Pies is a vendor at events all over the state. Its next stop will be at the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City.
Last year at the fair, Cutie Pies entered the “Great Taste of a Fair” contest for the first time and won the “Sweetest of the Sweet” category and the “FAIRest of Them All,” which is the best overall category, for the famed watermelon pie: a chilled, creamy and delicious treat.
“It was amazing,” Garrett-Winslow’s daughter, Chante Garrett, said about winning. “We were shocked. We thought we might place, but we didn’t think that we were going to beat out all these amazing people … It was just kind of the icing on the cake, so to speak — or the whipped cream on the pie.”
People were lined up for the pie, Garrett-Winslow said, and as soon as she would make more, they’d be gone, but for her that was the best part.
“It’s unique,” she said. “It’s unusual. It’s mine … It’s just very gratifying.”
Garrett-Winslow runs Cutie Pies along with her husband Michael Winslow and Garrett. Her son D.J. and other daughter Shae help out when needed, she said, along with a few other faithful employees.
“It has its ups and downs,” Garrett-Winslow said. “We live together, we work together, we want to kill each other once in a while … but we do OK, we do good.”
Garrett has worked with her mom ever since Cutie Pies opened. She is the smiling face customers see at the front window, a job she said she loves.
“I get to meet all these interesting people,” Garrett said. “I would be happy just sitting at the mall and people watching, and now I get to go to all these cool events and meet cool people.”
In March 2018, Garrett was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She went through six rounds of intense chemotherapy and had three surgeries. Her family and others rallied around her, and she went into remission in October 2018.
Because of her sickness, Garrett was unable to work at Cutie Pies last year. She was only able to start working again this March because, although she was in remission, she still had a battle to fight, she said.
She lost hearing in her left ear, had to relearn how to walk on her own, and still goes to physical therapy — despite her difficulties she went back to working at Cutie Pies in March and said she’s looking forward to being at the front window this year.
Garrett said she hopes Cutie Pies wins at the fair again.
“I think that we should win every year,” she said with a laugh, “but that’s because I have a biased opinion.”
Other treats Cutie Pies sells include banana cream cheesecake pie, peanut butter chocolate chip pie, watermelon salsa, chicken and corn Frito pie and animal cracker pie, which Garrett said is a hit with both kids and adults because of nostalgia.
Garrett-Winslow is a creative person, Garrett said, and just comes up with recipes like those. One, the caramel apple pie, was created to simplify the much-loved treat.
“Caramel apples are amazing, but sometimes they’re just so hard to eat,” Garrett said, “We just thought, ‘What could make this easier to eat?’”
In the future, Garrett-Winslow said she hopes to make Norman the permanent location for Cutie Pies.
“I tell people all the time, ‘Every pie just gets us that much closer to having something permanent,” Garrett said.
Cutie Pies regularly comes to OU for First Street Eats and will be north of Walker-Adams Mall near the Cate Rock Garden on Sept. 26, Garrett-Winslow said.
All dessert pies and frito pies are $7, and the watermelon lemonade goes $5 for a regular size and $7 for a large.
Cutie Pies will be set up at the state fair in the Entertainment Plaza beside the Sky Eye wheel from Sept. 12-22.
“Come get you some yum,” Garrett-Winslow said.