Monthly Archives: February 2016

Pi Day Pie Day

So, March 14th is Pi Day…as in the mathematical 3.14159/ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter Pi (and yep, I totally lifted that definition straight from Wikipedia…don’t you know me by now?).  But in recent years, Pi Day on March 14th has become a cultural phenomenon celebrated with…well, PIE.  Obviously.  We’ve titled it “PJP Pi Day Pie Day”.

Last year, Pi Day fell on a Saturday.  And while it was PJP’s first Pi Day celebration, that it was on a Saturday gave it an inherent joie de vivre that made it JUST THAT MUCH MORE festive.  We gave away t-shirts to the first 100 customers and served up mimosas for much of the morning.  (Oh, and we started baking at 2 am and continued on steadily for the next 10 hours and still couldn’t meet the demand for pie on Pi Day.  But that is a story worthy of another blog post.)

But this year…this year, Pi Day falls on a Monday.  And let’s face it, there is little inherent joie de vivre in Monday.  Setting up a mimosa bar on Monday morning has 89% less appeal than on a Saturday morning (for most people, I’m down either way honestly).  Heck, PJP isn’t even regularly open on Mondays.

So, we kicked around a lot of ideas of what to do that would be fun and interesting and worthy of a Pi Day Pie Day celebration.  Among the ideas discussed:  opening at 3:14 am (take a guess who came up with that one), selling pie for whatever time it is on the clock when the customer purchases it, and driving a borrowed food truck around town and selling pies right out of it.

And in the end, I successfully argued that no one would buy pie at 3:14 am on a Monday and then reminded Jeanne that we don’t actually know anyone with a food truck who would hand over the keys (and also that the city probably charges $27,562 in temporary permit fees for the privilege of selling pies out of a truck that we don’t own).

Here is what it comes down to…we are going to open on Monday, March 14th for regular weekly hours (10:30 to 5:30) and we are just going to sell every single pie in PJP for $3.14 off the regular purchase price.  Whether you choose a 9-inch or a baby or a Chocolate Bourbon or a Coconut, $3.14 off each pie.  All day.  It is so simple, it almost makes me question us.

Oh, and last year, we baked a golden ticket into a single baby pie and single 9-Inch pie.  The finders of those golden tickets received a free pie in the corresponding size each month for a year.  Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, minus the grandparents who never get out of bed.  Or just think about the chance to win free pie.

So that’s the scoop…two weeks from today.  Mark your calendars.  And feel free to bring me a mimosa…

Drinking Coffee and Drinking Spinach.

Almost every morning, Jeanne and I meet at PJP and immediately go and get our coffee at Starbucks.  And while we’ve both had coffee at home earlier, the getting the coffee from Starbucks is more honored as a morning ritual than an actual need.  (Though, it should be noted here that I’ve usually had a single CUP of coffee at home at this point, while Jeanne has had a single POT of coffee at this point…apparently getting up at 3 am for no reason has its perks.  Pun totally intended.)

Each morning, we spend $8.21 for the opportunity to hold coffee in our hands and sit in my car and talk about our day ahead.  It seems sort of silly, I know…but it is OUR THING.  It is like a morning meeting with no agenda and no end goal (which is precisely how we both like things.)  Except most of those mornings, we talk about a list of things we want…new display units, custom printed boxes, stores in more locations, world pie domination…and none of those things are an easy feat.  And as we look at 2016, we feel like we need to totally flip the script to make some big things happen.  Which is the back story to why we didn’t have our morning coffee today (and why I’ll believe until the day I die that drinking spinach is sketchy).

So, basic math (according to my iPhone calculator)…$8.21 a day for six days a week is $49.26 a week and $197.04 a month, resulting in $2,364.48 A YEAR ON COFFEE.  $2,364.48 a year to justify sitting down and talking to each other for 15 minutes a morning.  If I took a deep breath and you gave me 30 seconds, I could list off 24 things we would like to have at PJP that cost less than $2,364.48 a year.  So this morning, we took the $8.21 we would have spent on coffee and put it in an envelope and hid it away.  And then Jeanne made us a smoothie that had spinach, bananas, strawberries, and oranges in it and it was NOTHING LIKE AN ICED VANILLA COFFEE.  But we still took the time to sit and talk about our day.  And how counterintuitive it is to drink green liquid.  We plan to do the same tomorrow and the next day, perhaps minus the spinach.  Please minus the spinach, actually.

Does this mean we have given up the morning coffee?  No way, sister.  We will still go once a week or so, but we sort of like the idea of completely flipping our universe upside down in order to see if we can make some really interesting things happen as a result to changing how we approach our day and our mindset about money and big goals for the coming months.  You never know, right?

PS…Please note, by 4 pm, I would have crawled on my hands and knees through the drive thru for a venti coffee because one cup at home does not a venti make.

PPS…No, don’t even think about suggesting I add kale to the smoothie recipe.

PPPS…Yep, I know leafy greens are great for us.  And I agree…just not in liquid format.

PPPPS…I would seriously drink a venti iced coffee right now and it is 9:56 pm.  The struggle is real.

For Baking Professionals.

Earlier today, Jeanne and I received formal invitations to attend the International Baking Industry Exposition this fall in Las Vegas.  And lest you think there is something special about us, just know that around 20,000 other “baking professionals” from around the world received their invitations today as well.  But the mass mailing list did have our names correctly spelled, which was a thoughtful touch, in my humble opinion.

Held every three years, this event promises to be the biggest exposition show in the world for baking professionals.  And it appears that a baking professional is loosely defined by the exposition organizers as those involved with the “grain-based food industry.”  And whatever, because LAS VEGAS.  True to our differing personalities, I immediately started to analyze the hotel options and price airline tickets while Jeanne rolled her eyes and declared her general lack of interest for traveling to Vegas for a long weekend.  Sounds about right.

I’ve never been to the Las Vegas Convention Center, but according to the exposition website, it provides 700,000 square feet of space to learn about the latest baking technology and the opportunity to meet over 800 “leading manufacturers and suppliers of goods.”  Huh.  And they didn’t even mention the available nightlife, the pools, the cocktails, and the spa treatments.  BUT WE ARE ALL TOTALLY THINKING IT, International Baking Industry Exposition planners.  That’s totally why you didn’t pick 700,000 square feet in Cleveland.

700,000 square feet of exposition space be damned, we would still have to figure out how to leave PJP Buttonwood for a few days.  And how to convince Jeanne to get on a plane and fly a thousand miles to a city that never sleeps and offers no in-room Roku services.  And once there, how to meet 800 leading manufacturers and suppliers of goods without wanting ALL THE THINGS.  I could totally see how we would leave Sunday night with a signed agreement to build a production line for Jelly Jar pies and a promise to consider baking artisanal breads because we met someone super fun who sells artisanal bread mixes.

But it does sound intriguing, doesn’t it?