Tag Archives: Stan Kroenke

What We Did Right…

Jeanne and I spent a lot of time talking this weekend about our Thanksgiving 2k15 experience.  (And in full disclosure, most of that time was in the car on our way to and from to Kansas City for a day of shopping on Saturday, wherein I also taught Jeanne how to watch Gene Pitney videos on YouTube and completely BLEW HER MIND with the technology available to us in the waning weeks of 2015.)

And after a full dissection of what worked and what didn’t, we declare the last week to be a complete success.  Let’s look at what worked…

  1. We were realistic about the challenges we faced this year.  We totally owned our shortcomings of Thanksgiving 2k14 and focused on those areas of improvement with some white-hot intensity.
  2. We made peace with the fact that we would spend at least one full night at PJP Buttonwood.  Working all day with the knowledge that you’ll be working all night somehow makes it easier.  I don’t know why.  Do you?
  3. Limiting pie variety options for Wednesday proved to be most helpful.  As we baked through the night, we moved more quickly working on 12 varieties of nine-inch pie (as opposed to the over 20 different types of pie available in jars, babies, nine-inch and 12-inch last year).
  4. Asking the customer to choose a two-hour window for pickup helped ensure that we could plan our baking schedule accordingly.  By 3 am on Wednesday morning, I knew that the round of pickups scheduled for 10:30 to 12:30 were finished and that helped control our anxiety and helped us to focus on the 12:30 to 2:30 pickups.  As we rolled into noon on Wednesday, we were completely finished with the baking schedule (and by comparison, we were likely around 25% finished at noon on Wednesday last year).
  5. Mostly notably, we were overly prepared…in every way.  We had extra space, extra food supplies, extra bags, extra staff, extra hope, extra fear, extra anxiety, extra everything.  In the end, we even had a few extra pies for sale.
  6. The extra space in Spare Space was paramount to our Thanksgiving operation.  Plenty of room for customers, additional pay stations, and a less frenzied atmosphere were all welcome additions to our pie pickup process.  (A lot of people asked about the cost of Spare Space.  Silent Stan charged us $400 for the month, including utilities.)
  7. Having extra help was a game changer.  GAME CHANGER.  I could write 500 paragraphs for you about what the volunteer help meant to us, but it wouldn’t be enough to convey how important each volunteer was to the entire operation.
  8. We had a lot of data about orders available to us.  And I had that data available in several different formats so that bakers could look at numbers differently than those working at the pickup tables.  And whatever the data set, it was spiral bound so that I wouldn’t find page two on the front counter and page 18 in the bathroom.
  9. We labeled the pie boxes with the customer name and phone number.  As the pies cooled and we started to box them, it helped ensure that we didn’t miss anyone.  For example, if we baked 100 pecan pies and then discovered that we had 105 customer name labels for pecan pie…then we knew we needed to bake another five pecan pies.  Don’t ask me how I know that so well.
  10. We wrote the customer name on each Kraft bag before we ever baked the pies.  As we baked the pies, boxed them, and labeled them, the bags served as the final check that we didn’t miss anyone.  A labeled bag empty of boxed pies indicated a problem to remedy before the person stood in front of you ready to checkout.

And because we keep it real…tomorrow, a list of what we did wrong.

 

Silent Stan

Let’s talk about lease negotiations.  BECAUSE IT IS MAKING ME CRAZY.  I really thought we would ride the high of our Thanksgiving baking and coast right into a signed lease and Contractor Steve jackhammering stuff by Wednesday.  Things really go more smoothly when people just do what I want them to do, when I want them to do it.

I talked with Mel and The Kroenke Group needs financial information.  He sent a spreadsheet on over and I looked at it for about 12 seconds before I broke out in hives and closed the email.  Then I baked a bunch of pies, celebrated Thanksgiving, had a ton of fun at the Mizzou/Texas A&M game, decorated our Christmas tree, and then thought “OHMYGOSH – I’m supposed to fill that thing out!”

What is it about financial worth statements and asset sheets that make my eyes roll back in my head?  I couldn’t even answer some of the questions because I didn’t even know what they meant (and any question that asks me to refer to “Schedule A” is a question I’m not going to answer).  I did the best I could and returned it to Mel, but I really have unfinished business to say about the whole experience, so here you go: (but first, a visual on Stan…it is only fair, right?)

San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets

Dear Stan,

Hi Stan.  It’s Rebecca.  Can we be on a first name basis?  I know we don’t know each other, but I want to open a pie shop in a small 1,000 square foot spot that you own in Columbia.  I’ve Googled you and realize that you own A LOT of 1,000 square foot spots, so let me clarify and say that I’m talking about the one in Columbia, Missouri.  The same town that needs another Target, not another student housing complex.  

You sent us over some financial forms and now I have a headache.  I have some things you should consider when you review my forms:

  1. I’m no Excel wizard, so I think I messed up your formatting on that.  Sorry!
  2. I begged, pleaded, and exhausted myself raising $10,000 on Kickstarter.  Do you think I have “vested interest in deferred comp”?  Dude, I don’t even know what that means.
  3. The fact that a group of your people are going to sit around a table and analyze our forms FREAKS ME OUT.  Can I bring a pie or something?  Seems like it is going to be awkward.  Will people be laughing because we don’t have any securities held by a broker in a margin account? (Yeah, I Googled “margin account”, Stan).
  4. Do I have a will?  Why do you need to know?
  5. I think we are blowing this all out of proportion.  I want to lease 1,050 square feet from you for $1,500 per month.  We’ve got big plans…big, big, big plans.  We have vested interest in succeeding big time.  Will that substitute for vested interest in deferred comp?
  6. Could I just come to your meeting and plead our case?  I’m much better in person than on Excel.

Devotedly Yours.  Go Nuggets.  Go Rams.  

Rebecca

I don’t know when the round table meeting of the financial gurus is planned.  Soon would be really helpful, though.  I will not rest until I have Steve and a team of panel van subcontractors at 3601 Buttonwood, Suite E ASAP.  (Oh, and Stan?  I read your nickname is “Silent Stan”.  Did you know that one of my nicknames is “Relentless Rebecca”?). 

Find more fun Stan facts here:  http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-stan-kroenke.

***** In all seriousness, we were so saddened today to learn of the passing of Elaine Rehmer on Friday.  Elaine was a Kickstarter supporter, a blog reader, a pie-class attendee, and a delightful person all around.  Her happy attitude was infectious and she will be missed.  Her family is in our thoughts and prayers.*****