Occasionally, I’ll have a day of PJP productivity that leaves me completely impressed with myself and with lingering philosophical and introspective questions regarding why I can’t achieve the same results EVERY SINGLE DAY. All that aside, here are a few interesting things from the PJP Buttonwood front lines.
- If you haven’t seen the recently announced lineup for the 2016 Roots N Blues festival, check it out now. I couldn’t be more excited for this lineup if I handpicked the artists myself, as most on the schedule make up the go-to PJP playlists that we listen to each day. My biggest concern now is how to staff the PJP booth that weekend so I can attend 90% of the shows.
- Oh, and my second biggest concern is how to get Jason Isbell into the PJP booth that weekend and forever suck him into the pie vortex and make him a #WPD devotee. I think that we should pick one day wherein we all tweet at him and demand a meet and greet over Chocolate Bourbon Pecan tarts.
- Jeanne will read this post early in the morning and I’m telling you, she will roll her eyes at this idea of mass tweeting. She’s more of a “track down his tour bus and bang on the door” sort of person.
- But speaking of things not happening for six months from now, we will be speaking at One Million Slices next Tuesday night (May 3rd) at Memorial Union on campus. This event will celebrate women entrepreneurs and there will be pizza and pie. And it is free. You really have no excuse not to attend.
- Oh, and last Thursday, we held our April Epic Pie Tasting night and it was the best time, as always. It was such a good time that not even the trial run of a Rhubarb Custard pie could bring down the atmosphere. Yes to having a fun time together on a Thursday. No to Rhubarb Custard. Well, at least we know now.
May Epic Pie Tasting date will be announced tomorrow. It is the one thing on the list that didn’t get done on my day of super productivity. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?
Nothing terribly interesting happened at PJP today, unless you count making 546 tarts and bagging each one in a cellophane bag and tying each bag with a ribbon and oh, and putting a sticker on each one. (Coincidentally, 546 also seems to be the number of times Gunnar has been asked in the past two days if he feels any different since getting married last Saturday. Spoiler alert: he basically feels the same.)
After we finished the tarts, we bagged them all up in large bags and set them on the front bench until the customer picked up so that we could have room to work on our baking schedule for the day. Almost every person who stopped by before they were picked up looked in the bags and asked about buying the tarts. Because we had counted and recounted and then triple counted ourselves on those tarts in the wee hours of the morning, it was ridiculously easy to say no to the requests. But it made us think of a PJP where tarts were readily available each day. And Jelly Jar pies too. And maybe, if we dare dream, a baking party calendar that wasn’t booked out 10 weeks in advance.
And what it comes down to is space. Currently, PJP Buttonwood is 1,050 square feet. As we’ve consistently grown over the past year, we’ve really noticed more and more a push on our working space. Either we have too many people in the space and we are in each other’s way or the ovens are full and can’t hold another tray. Or both. Finding open working space at our tables can be a struggle on the most average of days as we are consistently baking more, so finding space for several people to roll out tarts while others bake for the shop is darn near impossible in our current setup.
Which led us this afternoon to stare directly at the south wall in PJP Buttonwood and envision knocking a huge hole in it to access the vacant space next door. I haven’t done the research, but I would guess that our landlord would charge $1.2 billion dollars to knock a hole in a wall. And the city would want architectural plans, 41 different permits, and the blood of my first-born child before even considering the removal of the carpet next door, much less the hole in the wall. In sum total, I would guess adding on to our space would cost us all of our sanity and a trillion dollars, give or take $10 bucks.
But a space to house the PJP Tart Division, Jelly Jar Division, Wedding and Events Division, Shipping Division, and Dough Division…well, it is a dreamy thought, no?
On the first day of our second year, here are some things that may or may not be interesting…
- Our sweet and affable Gunnar married his beautiful fiancé Lauren on Saturday afternoon, with almost all of Team PJP in attendance. So basically, it was the first time in PJP history that we all got to see each other in clothing not branded with a PJP logo or covered in flour.
- As with all businesses in a college town, we will have a lot of personnel change in the next month as the semester ends. Gunnar and Mitch will move on to the next part of their lives far away from PJP Buttonwood. And I don’t care for it a single bit. Tear.
- Speaking of far away from PJP Buttonwood, our Caramel Apple pie travelled the 1,200+ miles to our test recipient in Beaverton, Oregon last week. The recipient was kind enough to email photos of the box as she unwrapped it and well, it was an epic fail. EPIC. FAIL.
- Between you and me, the box industry is on my short list. I’ve worked on printed boxes and shipping boxes for the past few weeks and I feel like the cost to have a pie baking alien delivered to PJP in a custom designed spaceship would be cheaper and more feasible than getting the boxes I need.
- Now that I consider it, I bet our landlord would charge a fee for spaceship parking in our lot. Ahem.
- But that said, we just passed our one-year anniversary of shipping our Jelly Jar pies and not a single shipment in the past 12 months has arrived damaged. So props to that box. I wonder if the Ball Canning Company could make us a 9-inch pie jar with a lid…
- Last week, we shared this picture of our jarred pies on Facebook, promising to give away a six-pack to a random person who liked and shared the post. In the end, 32,576 people tried for a chance for these super cute little suckers. (We picked a winner today and sent her a Facebook message.)
- I relayed the count to Jeanne and she is still harping about how 32,576 people saw this picture on Facebook when we don’t know 32,576 people. I would give someone a jarred pie if they could explain it to her in a way that makes sense.
- I would also give a jarred pie to someone who could talk to me about printed pie boxes and not use the terms “thousands”, “storage”, or “printing plate cost” in the conversation.
- Or to someone who could convince Gunnar and Mitch to stay forever.