Monthly Archives: September 2014

I Blame Pinterest.

At various points during our summer, we’ve talked about a PJP booth selling pie at all sorts of venues and local events.  Each time we started to complete a vendor application, apprehension would set in.  We would talk ourselves out of committing to a 10×10 space somewhere on the panic that falls between the worry that NO ONE would purchase a pie (leaving us with hundreds of pies and broken dreams) and the worry that EVERYONE would purchase a pie (leaving us unable to supply the demand and dashed expectations).

Over the course of the last few months, we’ve talked about the Memorial Day Air Show, the Roots, Blues, and BBQ festival, and Holiday Mart in Kansas City.  The air show fell five weeks after our opening day and we could barely figure out how to stock our store, much less bake, transport, and sell hundreds of pie in the early summer heat on a tarmac.  The Roots, Blues, and BBQ was compelling, but expensive.  At an average investment of $1,000 to even sit in our booth at the site, we psyched ourselves out that enough music loving festival-goers would want pie while they rocked out to Jason Isbell.  And Holiday Mart in Kansas City?  Well, if you’ve been there, you know that it is a shopping extravaganza and we worried one of us couldn’t man the booth while the other shopped…also, getting pies from PJP Buttonwood to Bartle Hall presented logistical issues that we couldn’t answer (this is why we need a PJP Logistics, by the way).  All good opportunities that we talked ourselves out of for various reasons, but mainly because staying at our home base PJP Buttonwood is terribly more comfortable than taking the PJP show on the road.

All that said, we decided today to shove ourselves right out of our comfort zone before we become content with the status quo.  And that is why we turned in our application for a booth at this November’s King’s Daughters Holiday Festival in Columbia (http://kdholidayfestival.com). If you’ve learned anything about us at this point, you know we usually go with the path of least resistance.  In this case, the King’s Daughters Holiday Festival is something we both love to shop at each fall.  We can rent a booth for $350, thereby decreasing our “we MUST sell xxxx pies to break even” margin.  PJP Buttonwood is 5.8 miles away, so extra stock becomes much more feasible.  Also, it gives us one final opportunity to take Thanksgiving pie orders.  And given our shopping history, we know that if no one buys pie, well, we will have enough shopping opportunity to distract ourselves from all the shame.

As with all positives, there are negatives.  The festival is the weekend immediately prior to Thanksgiving.  We don’t pre-bake and freeze anything, so it isn’t that the weekend was planned for baking…but it was planned for mentally freaking out about how we are going to make 2,000 pies during Thanksgiving week.  And considering we will be baking a lot of pie for the festival in hopes of great sales, we will roll into our busiest week of the year with little physical and emotional reserves.  I hereby lay odds that one, or both of us, cries at some point over the weekend.

We have no idea what to expect.  But we know the road to world pie domination is paved with taking risks that hopefully move us forward.  Or maybe we just spent too much time looking at inspirational quotes on Pinterest.

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365 Days.

One year ago today, I took this picture of PJP Buttonwood…

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And today, I took this picture of PJP Buttonwood…

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Thank you.  Thank you for believing in us when PJP Buttonwood was a mere Kroenke Group storage unit.  Thank you for believing in this space when we were tired and overwhelmed and a little unsure.  Thank you for visiting us here and for making PJP Buttonwood a part of your life.  I think world pie domination is next on the agenda, no?

Dear Evelyn…

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but today we ran out of baby pie boxes at PJP.  And by “ran out”, I mean we actually don’t have a single baby pie box available for use.  And the running out isn’t really the surprising or interesting part because that has happened to us before, but then I realized we are also out of our emergency folding-required baby pie boxes.  And then panic ensued.

As the Executive President of PJP Procurement, I fail miserably (though, I just gave myself that title, so what did you expect?).  I typically try to reorder supplies when we open the last box of whatever we are using (it is a very strategic and well thought out plan for inventory management, no?)  At some point last week, I missed the memo that we had started to use the very last of our cases of baby pie boxes.  In case you are curious, I order our baby pie boxes online from a company called “Mr. Takeout Bags”.  I don’t understand the name of the company at all…why the “Mr.” part?.  That said, they have the boxes we like at a fraction of the cost of other online retailers and so, I guess they can call themselves whatever they want.  The site does offer the nice ability to “rapid re-order” product by logging in and viewing your previous orders and then just re-ordering with the click of a button.

And now that I just typed that, I realize that I have less of a reason to run out of boxes given the easy of getting more.  Pathetic.  So pathetic.

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Anyway, I realized today that since I started ordering from this company on June 20th, we have ordered 3,000 baby pie boxes.  That averages to around 1,000 baby pies a month going out the door at PJP.

And if you are wondering why I don’t buy 3,000 boxes at a time and spare myself the frustration, I’ll tell you why.  1) We are hard pressed to store 500 boxes without tripping over them.  3,000 would be impossible in our current space.  2)  If I were prepared enough to order 3,000 at a time, it would be like I didn’t even know myself any longer and I just can’t deal with that right now.

After ordering from Mr. Takeout Bags, you immediately get an email from Evelyn Kurianowicz thanking you for your order.  And I have so many emails from her now in my pjpies.com account that I feel like I should respond to Evelyn and tell her thanks and ask her how her day is going, like we are long lost friends.

In all respect to Evelyn and team, the boxes usually arrive pretty quickly.  They left a UPS processing facility in Kentucky at 9:26 pm this evening and now I’m left wondering if you can go from Kentucky to Columbia by tomorrow for delivery.  And I’m guessing probably not.

And this is just my long story to say that if you stop by PJP Buttonwood tomorrow for a baby pie or two, prepared to receive them packaged oddly.  I have the feeling Evelyn would be so disappointed in me…