“We are living to make a contribution.” This simple, honest statement from the Little Pie Company’s creator Arnold Wilkerson reflects not only the man’s credo but also the thoughtful, patient work that goes into the homespun desserts made fresh in Manhattan’s vibrant theater district.

The locale is highly suitable as Wilkerson first made a name for himself as an actor in the Big Apple after studying at London’s historic Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. But his love of baking comes from vivid recollections of his grandmother cutting up freshly fallen apples from their backyard trees for more than a few little pies of her own.

Wilkerson is living proof that the apple actually doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Since 1985, the Little Pie Company offers “a theater of baking” in a neighborhood joint where bakers are framed by large picture windows, creating a warming, rustic slice of Americana.

Locally sourced ingredients go into season-fresh pies, cakes and cookies. Carefully considered fillings made from nature’s ripe bounty are poured into hand-pinched crusts before the tempting treats are placed into small batch steel ovens. Rows of near-to-bursting pies with golden brown crusts rest on cooling racks until they are snatched up to be taken home, consumed on the spot or shipped fresh nationally for next day delivery.

Remember when a home-made desserts such as Mississippi Mud pie, pecan and classic apple equaled happiness? At the Little Pie Company, it still does. Simply good and ready to eat. Rounds of applause are optional but deliciously inevitable.