Monthly Archives: March 2016

As Expected.

Well, as expected, PJP Buttonwood was 100% perfect upon our arrival this morning.  And short of running out of pie box stickers and an emergency run to HyVee for sugar, Mac and Gunnar had no significant problems as co-captains of PJP for the day.  (And who are we kidding…Jeanne and I run out of stickers and sugar on the regular, so it was really just a normal day for all parties involved.)

We felt so empowered this morning by our psychological growth garnered by leaving the store for one day that we tackled a mountain of tasks that we’ve been putting off forever, namely…

  1. We ordered 1,100 pie box stickers.  Nothing fun or interesting about that, just a forward step in the never-ending battle against “OMG, WE ARE OUT OF STICKERS AGAIN.”  I’m going to write a book and call it “Solving the Sticker Crisis”, but I suspect we would be the only two to read it.
  2. We sourced detergent and rinse additive for our dishwasher from a company other than Ecolab.  This is the second time we’ve needed to order in the 23 months, two weeks, and three days we’ve been at this location (and let us all remember that Ecolab was charging us monthly for the chemicals that we’ve only needed once a year.)  And let us all remember that if anything, I excel at being righteously indignant.
  3. We looked at invitations we’ve received to participate in various festivals.  Taste of St. Louis would be a great opportunity…for the rock bottom booth fee of TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. Once we recover from the shock of that number, perhaps we will be able to discuss it.  Roots and Blues seems to be a given, as last year was a great experience.  And finally, the event formerly known King’s Daughters is scheduled for the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.dslk
  4. We discussed our two-year anniversary that is fast approaching on April 17th but then got sidetracked by discussing how we are rolling into our 24th month of PJP.  Someone cue up Sunrise, Sunset and bring me a box of tissues.
  5. We completed our official registration for the International Baking Expo in Las Vegas in October.  I have no idea how we will be able to leave PJP Buttonwood for four days at the very start of our busiest season, but the shenanigans we might find in Vegas together will probably make up for the stress of figuring it all out, no?


Just shy of our second anniversary, PJP celebrated a SIGNIFICANT milestone today:  neither Jeanne or I went to PJP Buttonwood, rather we left it solely in the hands of Gunnar and Mac.  I KNOW, RIGHT?  Mark it down in the history books, people.


We’ve realized for a while now that World Pie Domination can’t happen if our five-year plan includes standing inside PJP Buttonwood all day, every day.  Well, I guess we’ve realized it in the most high-level, theoretical sort of way…in practice, not so much.  Our controlling natures and our incessant need to hover over all things PJP makes it hard to not be there…not really because we need to, but because we want to (most days, anyway).

But back to growing World Pie Domination.  Growing is on our to-do list.  We aren’t entirely sure what that means right now, but we have a lot of ideas bouncing around (imagine that).  And whatever it eventually means will also likely mean that will have days that we need to work on the business, rather than consistently in the business.  (Stab me for just spewing that overly used platitude here…I just rolled my eyes at myself.)

And so when we looked at the calendar and realized this week is spring break for Mizzou and Columbia Public Schools and Mac said he could work all week, we decided to rip off the Band-Aid and just go for it (does it surprise you that as a kid, if I needed a Band-Aid, I just wore it until it dangled off by just a thread of adhesive?).  As in, we would both just not go to PJP Buttonwood for one solid business day.  The rules were that we would call the store to check in and they would call us if they needed us and they would also make us a list of areas that they found confusing, frustrating, overwhelming, or just generally annoying so that we can work to improve those areas.

As expected, Mac and Gunnar were absolute pie-baking rock stars.  When Jeanne made her fifth or sixth call before noon to check in, Mac began to chide her for her lack of confidence in their skills…which just proves the theory that most of what gets in our way of true growth is well, ourselves.  Awesome.

We will go back to a regular schedule tomorrow and visit with both Mac and Gunnar about how they felt during their Day of Independence.  And then the real work of identifying what worked, what didn’t, what needs to be improved, and what was a challenge to them both begins.  Our responsibility to fix it all already feels arduous and I don’t even know what they are going to say yet.

So there we go…23 months in and our PJP journey still pushes us to mature and grow in ways we could have never anticipated.  She’s a patient girl, that PJP.

2 am.

By now, you’ve likely seen our 2 am selfie that I posted early Saturday morning on Instagram and Facebook…

early morning selfie

And after the dust settled from our busy day of pre-Easter sales, I noticed that I had more than plenty  questions on social media and in my email inbox about the picture.  So here we go:

Q:  Do Jeanne and I start at 2 am EVERY SINGLE DAY?
A:  HECK NO.  But while it isn’t the standard, it does happen enough that neither of us are that phased by setting an alarm for 1:30 am.

Q:  What time do you go to bed if you get up at 1:30 am?
A:  Jeanne goes to bed at 8:30 and occasionally gets up at 1 am just because she likes it.  Or if she’s really living large, she gets up at 4 am.  (That sounds like a great lead-in to an Ambien commercial, no?)  If you could give me the best day ever, I would go to bed at 1 am and get up around 9 am.  It seriously never happens.

Q:  Are you both wearing lipstick?  At 2 am?
A:  Well, I would classify mine as more of a lip gloss, but…

Q:  I saw that you were still baking at 11 am.  Why?  How could you not be done baking by then?
A:  We had so many pies on order for Saturday, and we needed to fully stock the store after a busy Friday.  More than once, we said to each other that we should have just stayed the entire night.

Q:  How’s the no-Starbucks challenge going?  Do you break on Saturday for a caffeine break?
A:  So far, so good.  We had every intention of going Saturday morning but could never even find the five minutes to do it, so I caved at 4:30 that afternoon and stopped by for a venti iced coffee.  Jeanne reports that she enjoyed an entire pot of Folgers once she got home.  I should have just ordered the trenta after hearing POT OF FOLGERS…