ST. GEORGE — A constellation of European Starlings circled above a shaded parking lot tucked behind an office building at 50 East and 100 South in St. George Tuesday afternoon.
The Larkin Group gathered there to give away more than 230 pies. It was just after 4 p.m. The rush hadn’t hit yet, so they all stood still, watching hundreds of starlings weaved through the clear sky, splintering off into smaller groups only to converge again as they swirled overhead.
Once the starlings disappeared from view, cars, trucks and SUVs began lining up as if on cue. “We call it a pie-thru,” said Jeremy Larkin, CEO of the Larkin Group, a St. George real estate consulting group with Keller Williams Realty.
With that, the team went to work. The driver of each vehicle knew some member of the Larkin Group; they’d bought or sold homes for them sometime in the past 13 years.
“They’re clients, friends and associates,” Larkin told St. George News. “We also invited area police and firefighters to get a free pie.”
By 4:15 p.m., all eight members of the Larkin Group were occupied. Some had clipboards with the names of those who had claimed their pies. Others created a daisy-chain of hands to make less work as they handed apple and pumpkin pies through the windows of Teslas, Subarus and Dodge pickup trucks, among others.
The Arbon family took a moment to speak with St. George News. Bob Arbon said that Larkin, who helped them sell their house, has the finest marketing mind in St. George.
“He knows all of us by our first names,” Arbon said. “He keeps in touch continuously.”
Arbon’s wife, Lillie Arbon, got specific.
“He sends Christmas cards,” she said, “and birthday cards. If anybody I know is looking to buy or sell a home, I send them to Jeremy.”
Though six of 10 people chose the apple pies, which weighed nearly five pounds, the Arbons scooped their pumpkin pie, waved and said their goodbyes, then hit the road.
Agent Joe Wright said this is his second year participating in the pie-thru. Though it means more work, he said he looks forward to it each year.
“It’s great to see our clients,” he said.
Another agent, Jess Evans, echoed Wright’s sentiments.
“I love that we can give them something without asking for anything in return,” she said.
Seventh-year agent Jesse Poll said that the hardest part is the traffic jams.
“But the smiles are worth it,” Poll said. “You can see how grateful they are for us. This is our way of saying that we are grateful for them.”
After an hour of nonstop traffic, the pies, which came on two pallets, were significantly depleted. Larkin appeared to be having the time of his life. He became giddy as an 80s model Chevrolet Dooley pulled up to the front of the line.
“That’s my childhood dream right there,” Larkin said as he approached the Dooley. He relished in the feeling of the cool chrome spikes at the wheel’s center.
Another truck pulled up. This one had a little dog in the backseat. Larkin skipped the front passenger side window and sidled up to the rear. No sooner had the driver rolled down the window, than the dog stuck its head out for a smooch — which Larkin accepted with a smile and a laugh.
“This event is all about showing love and appreciation,” Larkin said. “I don’t know how we’re going to do it yet, but next year will be even better.”
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