Schmucker’s in Toledo, Ohio

At first glance, Schmucker’s Restaurant of Toledo doesn’t appear to harbor any connection to space. But take a closer look and links become clear: Everything about Schmucker’s is out of this world.

There’s a restaurant sign—a funky red number lit in pink and lime green—somehow resembles an Apollo space capsule plunging to earth. And then there are the silver saucers. So many of the shiny discs have landed in the area that Schmucker’s could be in a scene from special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen’s 1965 film Earth vs. the Flying Saucer. That is, if those little dates weren’t all filled with pies.

“We’re known for our pies,” says Doug Schmucker. “In all, we make upwards of fifty different varieties.”

Yes, Schmucker’s does hail from a galaxy far, far away—and that universe was called the 1940s. The year was 1948 and Doug’s grandparents, Harvey and Nola, decided the moon was made of ice cream:  They built a dairy bar on a rural stretch of road in Adams Township—a lonely little slice of US Highway 20—and set out to serve treats to travelers. Nola baked her pies at home and delivered them to the dairy bar in time for the lunchtime rush. Son Allen traveled through the streets peddling his tricycle and toting a freezer filled with goodies for sale.

The hard work paid off. As business increased, the eatery’s name changed to Schmucker’s Restaurant, and a full menu of made-from-scratch meals joined the popular pies.