Area Cafe Aims to Put Pies on Servicemembers' Plates for the Holidays

"Operation Desert Pie" Website
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A picture is worth a thousand words. Upon seeing one picture, an area cafe owner wants it to be worth a thousand pies, maybe more.

"Operation Desert Pie" at Royer's Round Top Cafe in Fayette County urges people to purchase its famous desserts for shipment to American servicemembers deployed overseas in time for the holidays. Even if you don't know a person serving, Royer's will ship them to unit commanders, who will then distribute the pies to the troops, especially those who may not be receiving much.

In the tiny community of Round Top west of Brenham, Royer's Cafe has made a name for itself. It's been a cafe since 1946 when a serviceman returning from World War II started the place, but in 1987, Bud Royer took it over.

When they're open, customers find a colorful world backed up by a big menu. Getting a seat quickly might be as tough as finding Round Top on a map, but it's word of mouth that's built Royer's into a Texas institution.

"In 25 years, we've spent less than $2,000, really, in advertising," Royer said. "It's all been building relationships."

With a reputation that's reached across the country, packing pies on a Monday afternoon has become a big effort, one that Royer is happy to take on. But in December of last year, they aimed to serve those who serve the country.

It began with Bud's most famous dish, a chocolate chip pie, sent to Afghanistan by a mom to an American serviceman. Next month, Royer got a picture in his e-mail, soldiers in the desert enjoying his dessert.

That spawned "Operation Desert Pie." Purchase two pies, and they go to the troops. The deadline for getting them to the front lines in time for Christmas is December 5.

In addition, for every pair of pies purchased, Royer's will donate $5 to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides lodging for servicemembers, veterans and their families undergoing treatment at military hospitals.

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