Pies are the Signature Item on the Dessert Menu
Marie Callenderís is a restaurant chain with 139 locations in the western United States. One East Side Marioís restaurant is also considered part of the Marie Callender family. The type of cuisine served is mainly American, although many of the dishes are slanted towards styles of preparation that resemble Italian, Mexican, French, Cajun, and Chinese. Several different soups and sandwiches are available, as complete meals or ŗ la carte. The eatery is also known as Marie Callenderís Pies, and indeed pies are the signature item on the dessert menu: there are over thirty varieties available. They can be purchased as whole pies or by-the-slice.
Marie Callender's, 2628 W. March Lane, Stockton Ca, 95207
Marie Callenderís began in 1948 in Long Beach, California, as a wholesale outlet for selling pies to other restaurants. Eventually, Don Callender (who founded the business venture and named it after his mother, the real Marie Callender), opened a retail outlet in Orange, California, and gradually added other food. In later years, a typical restaurant would have a fully-stocked bar (also known as a saloon) serving alcoholic beverages. This is in contrast to other family restaurants like Denny's and Village Inn, which generally do not serve any alcoholic beverages. A salad bar is also a main staple.
The company's history, of a woman in California baking pies for friends, then for restaurants, then opening a chain of restaurants, has a strong similarity to the novel and movie Mildred Pierce, which came out many years before the Callenders' story began.
The interiors of the restaurant chain are decorated with antiques from around 1900, providing a theme that is reminiscent of Victorian England as well as Early America.
In 1986, the restaurant chain was sold to the Ramada Inn, and in 1990, to Wilshire Restaurant Group, Inc.
The chain had a division that marketed a line of frozen food. The division was sold to ConAgra Foods, Inc. in 1994 for $90 million. The name "Marie Callender's" was retained for the food line following the division's sale.
In California, the restaurant chain competes directly Coco's Bakery/Carrows restaurants.
Marie Callenderís is now owned mainly by Castle Harlan, a New York-based private equity firm.
Don Callender died on January 7, 2009.
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