SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — If the name John Mogen sounds familiar, it’s because he’s performed with his band all over KELOLAND for decades. Mogens Heroes has been entertaining crowds since 1978.

At his home in Sioux Falls, you will often find John Mogen at his piano.

This professional musician and music teacher is passing the time while his oven timer is counting down the minutes. The smell of freshly baked pies fills the whole house. It all started with his mom.

“I’m a Waubay kid, and she showed us how to make pies. So one of the great honors I ever got is when she dubbed me the family pie baker, the Mogen family pie baker,” said Mogen.  

The Mogen family pie baker started giving away pies a few years ago. His specialty is rhubarb pie, with rhubarb right from his yard.

“It kind of exploded a couple of years ago because our rhubarb was amazing and so I would take a pie and put it on Facebook with their picture, so I started with number one, and we ended up in September with 140 pies that summer, that was pretty cool, said Mogen.

Many times the recipient isn’t planned. It’s often who he sees, where he’s going, or who simply pops into his mind.

“It’s in the giving of the gift that I get my satisfaction,” said Mogen.  

And the people receiving the gift, like friend Mark Koth say it is something special. While the pies are seasonal, the giving started with loaves of bread which he still hands out. Since he started in 1993, Mogen says he’s probably given away between five and six thousand loaves of bread. He usually makes two kinds in his bread machine, Italian herb and rye bread with caraway seeds and chopped onion.

“I’ll generally say you now that saying give us this day our daily bread. Well, this is today, tomorrow it will take you a couple of days to eat this loaf of bread, some people rip through it right away.”

Mogen says, just like his music, he’ll keep baking as long as…

“The bread machine works, and as long as people keep liking the pies. It’s kind of like playing music. We are still having a lot of fun doing that, and people seem to enjoy it.”

Enjoy it are the keywords, whether it’s his music, pies, or bread, bringing smiles to faces is the goal.

“Nobody has ever said that’s a terrible pie, don’t give me that again!”