What Would The Sugarbakers Do?

This my first post from the front counter of PJP Buttonwood.  I was actually just standing here and thinking about how I could never really envision the front counter in my mind during the construction process and now…well, now it feels like our stainless steel counter was always meant to be…

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In terms of completion, we feel like are about 88% satisfied with our behind-the-counter baking space (we 100% love the space…we just have finishing touches in mind).  We would like another work table for pie boxing, especially as we move forward in our pie shipping plans.  We also wouldn’t mind another cooling rack so that we could quickly and easily separate Lucky’s pies, special order pies, and pies planned for in-store sales.  We have eight more lights that are Jeanne-designed and electrician-wired that are now ready to be hung.  Finally, we would love a little table with several chairs so that we can sit and make our baking schedule.  It is desperate times when you want to walk over to the Sonic to order a Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeade just so you can sit at their outdoor table while they make it for you.  And then hope service will be slow on that day because the sitting feels excellent and you don’t want it to end.

Our area between the front door and the front counter is really where we have struggled with our vision.  We know our goal is to merchandise and display the available pies in an inviting manner.  And for such a succinct goal, it is harder than we imagined.  We also have a lot of retail items, most from local artisans, and trying to figure out how to display those things has been challenging as well.

In order to make the front part of our shop look more like the vision we’ve been carrying around in our heads, we knew we needed help.  And if our sink clogged, we would call a plumber.  If our refrigerator stopped working, we would call a refrigerator repair person.  And so why not call in a professional for this problem?  Enter Caroline Leemis from Caroline Leemis Design (http://www.carolineleemisdesign.com).  Because my interior designer knowledge is based solely on my extensive viewing of Designing Women (until they forced off Suzanne Sugarbaker, but that is an entirely different blog post for another day), I really didn’t know what to expect when emailing Caroline.  Did she have a bossy older sister named Julia who knew a lot about drapes?  Did she have a delivery truck driver named Anthony that once ate a gas station sandwich and got food poisoning?

I still don’t know the answers to those questions (I’m guessing it is probably “NO”), but I can tell you that Caroline is pretty fabulous.  She took a look at our Pinterest page and then stopped by and talked to us and checked out our space.  She came back yesterday with a series of images to look at and let us tell her how we felt as we looked at each.  It was sorta like a Rorschach Test for people with a desire for all things industrial.  And chic.  And true to our relationship, Jeanne and I were pretty in sync with what we loved and what we didn’t.  (On one picture, we both actually gasped and Caroline is super smart – smart enough to know that YES, WE WANTED THAT ITEM ASAP).  And in a rare show of restraint, I didn’t make any random Sugarbaker references to Caroline during our conversation.

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We can’t wait to see what Caroline comes up with in the next few weeks to transform our front space into our space of our dreams.  We also have some fun new plans for signage and for pie display.  It would totally be Sugarbaker approved…