Since last April, we’ve purchased over 10,000 baby pie tins from the same source – webstaurantstore.com. (And, as a side note, I actually dislike this name more than our baby box source name…mrtakeoutbags.com. Webstaurantstore is an awkward pseudo-word and it is virtually impossible to spell from memory. And it makes me think about dinosaurs, not kitchen supplies, for some inexplicable reason. But I digress.)
Our baby pie tins are really the perfect size…not too small like a budget .97 cent frozen pot pie. But they also aren’t so big as to miss the whole point being individually sized. (And if you want to get technical, the perfect tin measures about 5 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 1/8 inches deep.) The die for our pie press was actually hand-cut to match the baby pie tins from webstaurantstore. That shows just how committed we are to using that particular baby pie tin. It is just like tattooing your spouse’s name on your left ring finger instead of wearing a wedding ring because you are just so convinced that you’ll never need or want that tattoo removed. It is commitment PLUS.
And so you know what is coming next, right?
Our shipment of tins arrived last week and as soon as I opened the box, the tins looked different. They were packaged differently and upon closer inspection, they were actually about 1/2 an inch deeper than our standard tin. And while a half an inch seems like a very small difference, it basically renders obsolete our pie press and our method of pre-measuring the amount of dough for each tin.
After a quick consultation with webstaurantstore.com (complete with measurements and photographic comparison), the customer service specialist promised to ship out the correct tins immediately…even at no-cost overnight shipping. MUSIC TO MY EARS. And when our FedEx guy showed up the next morning, we heralded the box of new tins with a small ticker tape parade. Except when we opened the box, the new tins were identical to the tins that we were returning. BECAUSE THEY WERE STILL THE WRONG TINS.
And this time when I called back webstaurantstore.com, I was decidedly more shouty and less patient than the day before. Especially when the person asserted over and over again that the tins shipped were identical to the previous 10,000 tins that have been shipped to our storefront over the last 10 months. EXCEPT THEY ARE NOT THE SAME TINS.
I spent some time researching our elusive tins on the Internet and learned that beyond webstaurantstore.com, our only other option is to order directly from the manufacturer. And they are super excited to help, if we want to order 25,000 tins at once. And I don’t because I don’t have a spare $22,000 in cash or a small warehouse to store them in. That is why middleman retailers like webstaurant.com make business doable for so many small businesses…but it only works when they ship you the product they advertise.
So…I’ve somehow ended up in a stalemate with a company whose name I have trouble spelling. They assure me that the tins we received are identical to the thousands of tins we’ve received before. I’ve assured them that based on conventional measurement, the tins are not the same. They say we are wrong. We say that are wrong.
I think after we achieve World Pie Domination, I’ll start a side business of supplying our own pie tins. For sanity’s sake.