Tag Archives: permits

Really? REALLY?

So after our tremendously good Kickstarter news (http://peggyjeans.blogspot.com/2013/11/by-numbers.html) yesterday, our super fast train to Thanksgiving Pie Town has slammed into a brick wall called PERMITS.  And for those of you reading who have built a business or your own home, please refrain from the whole “oh, I could have told you this wasn’t going to be that easy” thing and let me live my delusion a bit longer.  Because I believed…oh, I so believed, I so believed in The Two Weeks Principle.

Contractor Steve took our beautiful plans to the City of Columbia on Friday for the City’s review.  And the City didn’t think they were beautiful.  At all.  First, the wrong code book was using when making the plans, so the plans have to be re-drawn using the correct code book.  Also, our front counter was drawn in at 24 feet from the front door because, well…that’s where we liked it and we envision a super cute retail area in our entryway (on a side note, you are going to flip when you see the fun stuff we have in store for you).  But putting it at 24 feet changes all sorts of rules about occupancy – meaning we can put more people in the store if the counter is farther back…maybe?  Honestly, I in no way understand the connection of occupancy based on where the counter goes, but I know that putting it at 24 feet back from the front door puts a heap of new restrictions on us that would go away if we put the counter at 20 feet back.  And since I’m all for the easy route, we are moving the counter.  So we are waiting for updated plans from the architect (insert big sigh here).

Once those plans come, Contractor Steve goes back to the City of Columbia for the permit work and guess what…they need THREE weeks to get those permits issued.  At a minimum.  Then Contractor Steve and the panel van team need construction time.  And so if you are sitting there with a calendar, you are probably adding all this up and concluding that this doesn’t bode well for Thanksgiving.  And you would be correct.  The odds that we can open on November 20th to be ready for Thanksgiving are exceptionally small.  I always thought the jokes about permits taking a long time were uh, jokes.  But I guess not.  While not officially confirmed, we are estimating a December 4th or 11th opening date.

Obviously, Thanksgiving is a major pie holiday.  It’s like the bourbon and cookies of Christmas (or maybe that is just at our house?).  We want to be able to provide pies to our loyal fans, even if that quantity has to be somewhat limited and our baking schedule has to be completely wackadoodle.  Even if we have to think completely out-of-the-box of how that is going to happen for us.  Even if we don’t know how we are going to do it just yet.

This is where we call upon our dear readers for help.  We would like to rent a commercial kitchen in the area where we could bake pies for Thanksgiving – a city approved commercial kitchen.  Perhaps something in the fully equipped department that doesn’t cost $10,000 or so for a week (really, we just need access to it from November 22nd – 26th).  Ideally we would bake during the day, as we tend to get super grouchy when we roll dough late at night.  Realizing that I just eliminated 96.8% of places in this town, I will say that we will be realistic and take what we can get – the key is the APPROVED commercial kitchen.  Our customers wouldn’t need to pick up from that location…we have options for that, if that makes it easier for your commercial-kitchen-owning life.  Any thoughts?  Leads?  Ideas?  Leave a comment here with your contact information if you can help…the comments are moderated, so I won’t publish it but I’ll see your phone number/e-mail address and we will keep it private.

One other note about Contractor Steve – I still haven’t heard back with the estimate for construction.  Do we think we have collapsed him with our collective mind-bending “please don’t be super expensive” brain waves?  Or do we think he is scared to call me because he has more permit news?


What Would Mike Brady Do?

Admittedly, my knowledge of architects is limited to the fine design skills of Mike Brady and the awesome houseboat owned by architect Sam Baldwin in Sleepless in Seattle.  Today I got a call from Contractor Steve and he said he was calling with good news and bad news.  The good? No sprinkler worries…since we are under 3,000 square feet, we are not required to install a system.  The bad?  We need a set of architect plans to present to the city for approval.

According to Google, there are a surprising number of architectural firms in Columbia.  How do you begin to choose one?  Well, I based my decisions on the websites. Because well, I like pretty and shiny things.  First two firms had no answer.  It was Friday afternoon, so who am I to judge?

Third firm, let’s call it Firm X, had someone more than willing to talk to me.  20 minutes later I was convinced that this entire idea was an EPIC MISTAKE.  For the low low low price of $10,000 to $25,000, those set of plans could be mine.

WHAT????  Here are some things I could buy for $10,000 to $25,000:

  • A car;
  • A boat;
  • Sweet freedom from student loan debt;
  • Oceanfront vacation;
  • Approximately 768 rawhide bones for my dog.
Things I won’t buy for $10,000 to $25,000:
  • Architectural plans for a 1,000 square foot box that will have no walls.
Alas all hope is not lost.  In a total panic, I emailed Mel, our commercial real estate agent, and he immediately provided the name of the architectural firm in St. Louis that is actually the designated firm for the developer that owns the property.  All signs point to a number from this firm that ends with three zeros and not four.  Which is good, because it is, you know, a 1,000 SQUARE FOOT BOX WITH NO WALLS.
Absolutely nothing else productive occurred today except a whole lot of Pinterest pinning.  This chandelier makes me INSANELY happy.  Insanely.  Complete and total Industrial Chic perfection.  If someone asks me to describe Peggy Jean’s new look, I’m just going to shove a picture of this chandelier in their face.
If you are reading this and you designed this chandelier, call me.  Immediately.

220/221 Volts Whatever it takes?

I met with a contractor today – Steve from Columbia Craftsman – and we looked at our proposed location.  This is pretty much how it went down…

We don’t have a negotiated lease yet, but I will tell you that the space is on the southwest side of Columbia and is about 1,000 square feet.  I’ll also be able to skip to the new Starbucks that will be built this fall and I’m fairly certain all major business magnates base their location decisions on Starbucks proximity.  Ahem.

Do you remember the old Peggy Jean’s?  It was full of antiques and lace and plaid and the bakers wore chefs hats.  This Peggy Jean’s?  It totally flips the script.  We have a vision for the new space…industrial chic.  I’m fairly certain this term doesn’t exist outside of my Pinterest board, but it should.  To that end, think exposed ceilings, stone countertops, stainless steel workspaces, and a concrete stained floor to start.  I’m looking at lighting from a barn supply company and I love it.

Back to the contractor though…the very first thing he said to me was the noticeable lack of a sprinkler system.  Huh…good thing I brought an expert in, because sprinklers never occurred to me.  Beyond that, he actually thought all my requests were legit (and that never really happens to me).  Here is a quick iPhone shot of the actual space (the landlord is storing paperwork in there, so it is cluttered and the front windows are covered, so the light is blocked).

This picture is taken from about three feet inside the door, looking to the back of the space.  On the right corner is a finished bathroom.  So here are the tentative to-do list:

  • Stain the concrete floors
  • Finish out the walls and then paint and/or treat with a material…distressed metal? burlap? old wood?
  • Figure out the lighting situation…we need a lot of good light, but florescent lightening is high on my list of things I hate
  • Ductwork.  I can’t function without air conditioning.
  • Talk with the electrician…we need a ton of outlets
  • We need a front counter…concrete countertop without question, the base undecided though.  The contractor suggested corrugated metal and uh….no.  The goal is industrial chic, not a BBQ joint with peanuts on the floor.  Perhaps stone?
  • Consider the front retail area.  What to sell?  How to merchandise it?  Pie kits are a must.
  • Can we exist with just a Square Reader and no cash register?  Cash register is not industrial chic.
  • Neither of us feel the love for pie display cases…alternatives?
  • Signage?
  • Cool bench for waiting customers
  • Some treatment for the front windows – sounds like a job for Ikea
  • How do we update for our customers the current stock…chalkboard paint an area, or is that too overdone?  Tracking inventory real-time will be necessary.
  • Probably 1,392 other things I’m not thinking of…
Contractor Steve is checking with the city tomorrow about the sprinkler issue and what sort of permits we need to pull.  He should have a cost estimate for us next week.  I have absolutely NO IDEA what to expect.
November 20th…that’s our target open.  That gives us a solid week before Thanksgiving and Contractor Steve didn’t fall on the floor laughing at that timeline.  An online pie ordering system that is operational before that date is a must.  And an App. And a website.  And a Facebook page.  And a Twitter account.  And a Vine account.  And a Google + page.  And….what?  Hit the comments if you have ideas…