Purple Pie Place film to hit screens this month

Nathan Steele

On April 30, “Purple Pie Place,” a documentary film about the Custer establishment, will be available on screens near you.
The documentary was filmed over a seven-month period during the 2022 tourist season, and the crew travelled to the Black Hills each month from the production company’s (Braker Lane Films) home base of El Rancho, New Mexico.
“It was a real pleasure to make. It was pure joy,” said Daniel Zubiate, owner of Braker Lane Films.
Zubiate has been coming to the Black Hills for vacations since the late 1990s, and said the best part of filming was “just being in the Black Hills.”
Zubiate said he likes to stay in Custer as his “home base” while visiting the Black Hills, and over the years Purple Pie Place became one of his favorite stops. It was on one of those recent trips, as he was waiting in line to get into Purple Pie Place, that the idea to shoot a documentary there first came to him.
“I thought ‘this place might make a good documentary,’” said Zubiate. So he reached out to the owners, Bobby and Yuhlia Yehle. They were up for it, and soon, the process of shooting the film began.
The documentary follows the Yehles as they run the business from opening for the season and all the way through.
“It’s basically a giant commercial,” said Zubiate.
He said he hopes the documentary helps to bring people to Custer, and of course, to the Purple Pie Place. He also thinks viewers will be enamored with Yuhlia’s story and likeable personality, as the documentary also touches on Yuhlia’s “American dream” as an immigrant from Ukraine.
The Yehles weren’t just nice for the camera, though. Zubiate had nothing but kind things to say about the couple and the whole crew at Purple Pie Place.
“They were really great. They treated us like guests,” said Zubiate. He said their hospitality even extended to feeding him and the crew meals while there.
“We made real friendships,” he said.
Zubiate, of course, is a big fan of the food at Purple Pie Place anyway, so the affection was easily won. His favorite item on the menu is one he thinks people often overlook in pursuit of their sweeter fair, the chicken pot pie.
“Nobody ever talks about their chicken pot pie, but it’s amazing,” he said.
Zubiate said that the crew will also come back to the area to film another project, a mystery thriller film, in which a woman finds a used journal in a book shop and tracks down its owner. He found that the beautiful scenery and friendly people make the Black Hills a great place to work; in fact, it barely feels like work at all, he said.
“Filming is not the work. Work is the drive up there,” said Zubiate.
On April 30, “Purple Pie Place” will be available to stream on Amazon, Apple plus, Vudu and Google plus with other sites and physical media to follow later.

User login