9-ish Things.

It has been a super busy week so far at PJP and the next two days only promise more of the same.  Here are a few things that have gone down this week that merit a mention…

  1. Gunnar will be leaving us in a just a few short weeks for a new adventure in Virginia.  I’m not ashamed to admit that we both cried a little a bit when he broke the news.  (That crying won’t even compare to the crying that will go down on his actual last day.)
  2. Mitch is leaving us soon as well for his new adventures in Colorado.  Cue more crying.
  3. Seriously, people?
  4. In effort to make ourselves feel a little better in the face of 1/3 of Team PJP scattering across the United States, we purchased some new shelving that can hold our two microwaves.  (That is even more lame typed out than it sounded in my head.)  The only impressive part of the story is that the shelving arrived at our front door only 21 hours after online purchase.  I also ordered some 12-inch pie tins from the same company that took five business days to arrive because they spent 31 hours in Reno.  Maybe they know something that the microwave shelves and I don’t?
  5. I don’t know what is involved in installing the shelving, but I can tell you now that it won’t be remotely easy as Jeanne promises it will be.  It seems like a lot of work just to melt butter several feet off the tabletop on the regular.
  6. And speaking of handyman projects, I’ve been searching in vain for someone willing to haul a big ladder into our storefront and change the lightbulbs.  You know who doesn’t answer call emails?  People with super big ladders.
  7. I give it a few more days before Jeanne tries to convince me we should buy one of those Little Giant ladders from the infomercial.  I know she’s thinking it…she just isn’t saying it.  Yet.
  8. Jeanne and I had the opportunity to speak at One Million Slices at Memorial Union on Tuesday evening and had the best time, as always.  Sharing our story and getting feedback from other entrepreneurial minded individuals is the best way to help us think outside PJP Buttonwood.
  9. The majority of the audience at One Million Slices were college students.  Listening to their stories and seeing their work makes us think twice about whining about our struggles.  We were pretty darn inspired.  Here are two local student-owned companies worth taking a peek at:  Over & Co and Astronobeads
  10. And look, I don’t even have a 10th thing to tell you.  But I hate to end on #9 because I’m weird that way, so…



One Million Jars.

So, today we made a million or so Jelly Jar pies to ship all over the United States.  Really, it was a couple hundred but by the time the very last lid went on the very last jar (it was a rhubarb, if you need to set the scene), trust me that it felt like a million AT THE VERY LEAST.  We rolled into UPS with only moments to spare before the drop off cut-off, which I’m sure makes us the worst sort of UPS customer.  #finishingjarsontimeisreallyhard

In case you are curious, making a couple hundred Jelly Jar pies takes at solid 12 hours or so.  While baking them is the initial challenge, putting the lids and stickers on the jars and then boxing them with six tiny forks and a notecard is a serious endeavor, indeed.  And now that the jars are in planes and trucks (and maybe even trains) all over the United States as I type this, I find myself worrying about whether each box will arrive in the same beautiful shape as it left our store…so really, if you include all the baking AND stickering AND worrying, this has been more like an 20 hour day.  #jarproblems

During the course of Jelly Jar production, we also had an entire storefront to stock today with baby pies and nine-inch pies.  We also had tarts due and a few 12-inch pies on order for this morning.  So basically, we made every size of pie possible today in our 1,050 square feet.  It looked like a war zone when we left it this evening.  When Jeanne suggested we leave the mess for in the morning, I actually asked her to repeat herself because she NEVER leave without a minimum thirty minutes of sweeping.  She said the worst that may happen is that someone broke in tonight and cleans it all up.  (Which actually could be the very best thing to happen, now that I think about it.)  #breakingandcleaning

Somehow, I suspicion the only person motivated to clean corn syrup off the oven doors in the morning is well, Jeanne.  And the only person motivated to track each of our Jelly Jar shipments on the UPS website to make sure every package is guaranteed for on-time delivery is well, me.  #beingtruetoourselves

Start With This.

After wrangling around with the decision for the last 23 months or so, we’ve decided to move forward with our plan to expand our Saturday hours starting Saturday, June 4th.


And if you are wondering how we arrived at our current Saturday hours of operation from 9 am to 1 pm, one of us likely said to the other one:  “Do you think we will have any customers on Saturday afternoons?” and then the other one responded:  “I doubt it.  I bet people only come in the morning.”  It was all very scientific.

But since opening, we’ve been inundated with requests for longer hours on Saturdays.  We both understand the need…look, if we didn’t have to be PJP before sunrise on Saturday mornings, we would be watching television in our yoga pants and drinking coffee while watching Neflix until at least 10:30 or 11.  More than likely, if I were a PJP customer, I wouldn’t realize that I needed or wanted a pie until around 3 on Saturday afternoon and then I would arrive to find the store closed.  And because we are often hosting baking parties at PJP on Saturday afternoons, we know we aren’t alone on making late Saturday afternoon decisions (we’ve watched a lot of people walk smack-dab into the middle of a baking party and on more than one occasion, we’ve mistaken them for a party guest…it is as awkward as you might guess as they are trying to buy something and we are telling them to whisk their apple mixture.)

So, Saturdays 10:30 am to 4 pm.  Putting us on an opening time in line with our other days of the week will be helpful in preparing orders and keeping consistency over all.  And actually, planning to stock PJP Buttonwood for a full day on Saturday makes it easier than trying to guess what we might sell between 9 am and 1 pm.

I ordered new signage for the front of the door earlier today and felt a huge whoosh of anxiety immediately afterwards.  Longer hours will require more commitment from us and also additional staff members to cover the front counter during the longer hours.  Reading that makes me feel crazy for seeking extra responsibility.  Turning people away all afternoon on Saturdays makes me feel more crazy for losing business.  Sounds about right.

But the font on the new front door acrylic is super cute.  So, let’s start with that.