My daughter, future PJP CEO (or future surgeon, she hasn’t decided yet), turned 10 today. And I only mention it here because for whatever it is worth, Peg passed away 10 years ago yesterday. (At the time, it seemed like such an unfortunate sequence of events…experiencing death and then life in such a backward rapid succession. But now, it just seems a part of our story that makes complete sense. That said, my memoir chapter on experiencing postpartum depression and attending a funeral promises to be noteworthy.)
Hardly a day passes when a customer at PJP Buttonwood doesn’t ask which one of us is Peggy. Or if they can meet Peggy. Or if Peggy exists, or even existed, in real life. A few have mentioned that we need a photo of Peg hanging on the wall…which I assure you, SHE WOULD HATE. And to be honest, she probably wouldn’t care for a completely open kitchen, ordering pre-chopped pecans, or my willingness to throw the honest truth out on the Internet every night (or actually, even for the Internet at all). She would have known that 1700 pies on the day before Thanksgiving was an epic, epic, epic mistake. But she would have stayed all night to bake with us…because that is how she was.
But, she would love that Jeanne and I were doing this together. Oh, actually, she would be thrilled by it. She would appreciate that I’ve learned to bake all the pies without consulting her handwritten recipes (she did have terrible penmanship, for whatever it is worth). She would notice that Jeanne has chilled enough to not have a panic attack if there are more than three dirty dishes in our sink at any given time. She wouldn’t have a clue what #WorldPieDomination means, but she would be completely for it because she was always partial to a cause. And because she believed in us, even when we didn’t.
One the very first decisions Jeanne and I made in our early pie-business planning days was about the name…keep Peggy Jean’s Pies or change it, since it is really Rebecca and Jean’s Pies now. We vacillated more than you would expect. We balanced name recognition over desire for an image and branding change. But in the end, no matter what our design started to look like or how much the logo changed from the original PJP, Peg remained an integral part of what we do. And that we couldn’t change. And so, Peggy Jean’s Pies, V 2.0 was born…
And we think we made the right choice, even when someone mistakes us for selling pants.