Monthly Archives: December 2016

Sanity’s Sake…

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…

Merry Christmas To Us…

We’ve been waiting several weeks now for the die press for our three-inch tart pies to arrive and NOW IT IS HERE, PEOPLE.  Because we have thirty dozen tarts on order tomorrow by 5 pm, we tested out the press late this afternoon (we are SO GOOD at procrastination).  We held a collective breath that it actually worked as planned…and BEHOLD THIS BEAUTIFUL SIGHT:

I declare it here…PJP is forever changed.  One small step for our sanity, one giant leap for #worldpiedomination.  I’m just going to cross of “learn to be zen with washing jar lids” off my 2017 resolution list.  Merry Christmas to me, indeed.

And before I forget in my new tart press glee, congratulations to the winner of the $30 gift certificate to Paint the Town…Andrea Carrigan.   Andrea, you were the randomly selected entry from blog comments and we couldn’t be more excited for you to enjoy it.  Just send me an email at with your address and I’ll drop it in the mail.  I’ll even have the extra time to do it tomorrow because I won’t be making 320 tarts by hand in Mason jar lids and then washing all those lids.  Holla.









About twice a year or so, we have a day at PJP that TAKES ALL OF MY WORDS.  (Which is only interesting really because WORDS ARE MY THING…and I usually have an endless supply.)  I talked all day to everyone about everything and by closing time, I thought to myself “welp, self, I’ve said absolutely everything there was ever to say about pies…”

And yet, here we are.

Today was a rough go at the #worldpiedomination market.  We were so very busy and our phone rang so much that we had to call one of our regular volunteers at home, tell her we needed some serious help as soon as possible, and then take a huge sigh of relief every time she answered the phone in our store for the next few hours.  How do you even repay the sort of kindness that drops everything and drives to our store and answers our phone AND knows me well enough to deflect all the phone calls for me while I’m doing lattice tops on 31 cherry jelly jar pies?  I’m not even sure you can.

(Me every time someone calls this time of year to discuss 2017 marketing budgets…)


But, all that said, all of the hundreds of jars on order are now nestled in UPS trucks and planes for destinations from Rancho Margarita, California to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and everywhere in between.  And, I made it to UPS at 5:15 rather than busting in the front door at 5:59 pm in a terror sweat that I was a minute too late.  So holla out to progress.  (Also, holla out to Team PJP today, who was nothing short of amazing.  It was the all female team today of Emily, Katie, Sydney, and Shelby.  We ate our beloved veggie tots while we worked and discussed most of HGTV’s programming, 2017 planners, Christmas traditions, all of pop culture, home improvement blogs, and more…proving even on the most difficult of work days, we have the best time.)

Tomorrow’s baking schedule is a heart stopper, for sure.  I better save up my words…