For whatever reason, I almost always forget that December is an exceptionally busy month at PJP.  Unlike Thanksgiving, with a week or so of concentrated busy, December brings it to us every single day.  And today was no exception, as we made pies in tart size, Jelly Jar size, baby, nine-inch, and 12-inch for a variety of luncheons, parties, nationwide shipping, and all the people who just stopped by to treat themselves.  And we couldn’t be more thankful for every single bit of it, because while we are a tired bunch of bakers…we know January will straight up be cold and lonely.  Because January IS STRAIGHT UP THE WORST.  (Everyone in retail just whispered “preach it, sister”.)

But I’ll worry about that in a few weeks.

Without a doubt, we worked super hard all day and right now, Jelly Jars are on trucks and planes headed to destinations all over the United States.  And when I’m super bored in January, I’m going to fashion up a map and put a pin in every location we’ve shipped to.  (That sounds good now, right?  Odds that I’ll actually do it are pretty low because that would take a lot of push pins and patience, both things I lack.)  Next we will ship Tuesday and Wednesday to accommodate all of the holiday orders (and if you are planning to ship jars as a Christmas gift, December 19th is the last day for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

Jeanne and I did take a mid-day break to attend a meeting at Cornell Hall on the MU campus.  Without a doubt, one of the perks of owning a business in Columbia is the resources found at Mizzou (well, and most of our staff are college students which makes our lives more fun and completely more interesting).  For the second time, we partnered with a group of MBA students who spent their entire semester just studying PJP and our various ventures, with special focus on our Walmart project.  (And for those of you waiting for a Walmart update, we are STILL waiting for the sealer to finish being manufactured and delivered to us.  I know nothing about making a custom vacuum packed sealer, but uh…I would think it would take less than 10 weeks.  It’s on my list to investigate in January.)

Goodness though, our team of students were AMAZING.  They were all so smart and so informed about PJP and put so much earnest effort into the packaging, transport, and distribution of our pie dough that they are each forever inner circle members.  They even talked with another pie company that had distributed their pie dough through Walmart almost 20 years ago and learned what worked…and what led to the end of the relationship.  The students were full of great ideas and insight that we found invaluable.  And you know what, people?  It was all FREE.  I can’t guess what we would pay a consulting firm for the same amount of information, but I would guess an easy and quick $20,000.  Or more.  Holla to the benefits entrepreneurship in a college town.

And their professor?  I want her to be my new friend and text me wisdom every week.  We are already hopeful to partner again next semester to look at how in the world to maximize our online presence so we can be the next Pioneer Woman.  Minus the ranch, but definitely plus the cute store…