Our food broker alerted us today that eggs have increased dramatically in price…and will continue to do so at an alarming rate because of THE BIRD FLU. Really? Apparently there is a massive outbreak of avian influenza impacting more than 33 million chickens in America. And while I’m really good at regularly updating my list of items to worry incessantly about, I totally never saw the bird flu thing coming.
And in a rare attempt to not make this all about me, I feel complete empathy and anxiety for all the small businesses (and not so small businesses) that raise chickens for their eggs and now face complete calamity…because what do you do with millions of sick birds? Watching the flu spread through your chicken houses (chicken barns? chicken runs? chicken coops?) and not being able to do anything about it has to be the absolute worst feeling ever for a business owner. I have a feeling that if I were in the chicken egg business, I’d be hellbent that my chickens all wear tiny protective masks on their beaks during the flu season (and this is precisely WHY I wouldn’t excel in the chicken business).
And beyond that, what about the breeders of chicks…apparently no one wants to buy chicks right now until their farms are eradicated of the fast-spreading virus. And what about the factories that pasteurize the eggs (of which there are very little now), and the people who package the eggs (of which there are very little now)? And the corporations, small businesses, and home consumers buying eggs and liquid egg products? Spending more on eggs means less to spend on other items. And the truth is that 24 months ago, I would have rolled my cart through Hy-Vee and never noticed a 37% increase in egg cost. Add to the category of “stuff I didn’t know about being a business owner”: I’ll have to care deeply about the bird flu.
All that said, this whole thing does make the think of that scene in Mr. Mom, wherein Schooner tuna (the tuna with a heart) pledges to lower their price per can of tuna by .50 cents a can in honor of the economic downturn…and return to regular pricing when the economy rallies. And not that anyone asked me, but if one of the major egg manufacturers simply decided to keep their egg prices the same in the face of AvianFlu2k15, they would have me – and probably you – as a loyal customer for, well, forever.
Since before even officially opening our doors at PJP Buttonwood, local radio stations have worked to convince us that a PJP radio ad should be a logical part of our marketing plan. And while we were flattered by the offers and the careful sales presentations, we remained steadfast against the idea. Simply said, it felt a bit overwhelming. And in our minds, was PJP a radio ad sort of place? And what if we said yes and then ad produced turned out to be one of those “COME ON DOWN, EVERYTHING IS ON SALE” sort of ads that smack of desperation? Or worse yet, what if we said yes and somehow found ourselves smack in the middle of a live remote broadcast from the sidewalk in front of our store where it just felt awkward…because those things always feel awkward?
Clearly, we had put some thought into it.
A month or so ago, a salesperson from Y107 stopped by. She gave her pitch and even though she was just as sweet as she could be, we were ready to drop the whole “thanks but no thanks” schtick that we’ve perfected. Except, this girl was killer smart, because after we gathered our breath to say “we pass”, she asked if we would like to hear a sample ad for PJP that she had recorded.
And true to our personalities, hearing the ad play on her phone was all it took for us to seal the deal. It wasn’t as awkward or as unfortunate as I worried it might be all those times in my head…it was actually sort of catchy. And when the voiceover announced that PJP was “building a pie nation for all of America”, well, I whipped out my ink pen to sign on the dotted line. Major bonus points for recognizing the #WorldPieDomination theme and running with it, Y107. (Apparently, the easiest way to our hearts is to just do all the work and drop “pie nation” in the text about eight times in 30 seconds.)
The ad started to run late last week and we’ve already had a few people stop in and let us know that they were there solely because they had heard the ad and was excited to come and see us. And while I’ve heard the draft ad, I’ve yet to hear it on regular broadcast (though in my quest to hear it by listening to the ads whenever possible, I’d like to note that all the ad space for nutritional supplements and medical spas in this town is nothing short of amazing).
I hope you all love it. And don’t think we’ve made it awkward…