Well, probably like most of you, our weekend was completely off kilter because of the surprising winter weather on Friday and Saturday. And notably, this weekend was the first winter weather event that we’ve had to deal with in our 32 month or so tenure at PJP. Shout out to the previous two mild winters…because making decisions about whether to open or to close, thinking about lost revenue right before Christmas, and worrying about your employees getting home safely? STRESSFUL.
Our first inkling that something was awry on Friday was when our UPS driver mentioned that he slid into a curb at the roundabout off Green Meadows. And progressively, each customer who stopped by to pick up the dozens of pies on order mentioned that the roads were terribly slick. And it left us all at PJP Buttonwood wondering what exactly to do. We had a full crew working and a lot of orders to be picked up, with a full day slated for Saturday as well. So we decided to just keep baking and stress eating cookies while watching the traffic inch along Buttonwood and Grindstone at a snail’s pace. Over the course of three hours or so, perhaps three customers visited us but we decided to stay open on the theory that it looked as if it may warm up by closing time and perhaps our drive home would be less treacherous for us all.
By 5:30 pm, 80% of the pies on order hadn’t been picked up and our anxiety about our commutes home had reached their breaking point. We all decided to leave at the same time, with Katie, Andrew, Sydney, and Kevin all promising to text me as soon as they got home safely. (As a side note, Emily left at 2 pm for her normal 45 minute commute and got home over FIVE HOURS LATER.)
Early Saturday morning, Jeanne and I talked on the phone and analyzed everything we could read about the road conditions and weather forecast on the Internet. We decided to make the unprecedented move to close the store for the day, mainly based on MoDot’s recommendation that people stay off the roads. Also, making and selling a perishable product presents unique challenges. Neither of us could envision making the treacherous trip to PJP Buttonwood to bake a lot of pies on the very real chance not many people would stop by to purchase them as the temperatures fell all afternoon and the snow started to fall.
We had already agreed earlier in the week to work on Sunday to prepare most of our packages for online shipping. At the last minute, Jeanne suggested just leaving our door open and selling all the leftover pie from our massive Friday baking schedule for 50% off. As it turned out, she is a complete genius…we were really busy and relieved to see so many pies find homes and so many regular customers find some bargains (even the gluten free/dairy free American Apple was able to go home yesterday…impressive).
So, despite all of my second guessing myself for most of Saturday, it all turned out just fine. And most importantly, all of Team PJP was safe at home over the weekend, making it a win-win considering the circumstances. That said, I really really really hope the only other ice and snow storms that come are way happen on only Sundays. When we are closed. For my sanity’s sake…