Four Things.

This week has been all about the PJP baking party, keeping our nights busy with baby pie making with legions of new friends.  Here are a few other items of note:

  1. If you are a chocolate cream pie fan (and who isn’t, really), then you might have noticed this week that our chocolate cream pies are looking a little more fancy than usual.  We gave the heave-ho to the chocolate chips sprinkled on top in preference to chocolate shavings.  And our friends at Feast Magazine took notice, naming our Instagram photo of our G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S chocolate pie this week (aptly captioned “TurnUp Tuesday”) as one of the 10 favorite food Instagrams of the week.  img_8504
  2. As you know, we really believe that pie is the new cake.  We sell an astounding amount of birthday pie at PJP Buttonwood and usually the purchaser asks if we also sell candles.  For the longest time, we’ve awkwardly paused and then answered “negative, ghost rider”.  (10 bonus points if you caught the Top Gun reference).  At the baking convention in Las Vegas, we met a super fun company that makes candles that come in a variety of colors and the flame burns the color of the candle.  I KNOW, RIGHT?  And they ship them in the display unit, so we just open the box and start selling candles.  They are on track to be delivered tomorrow and we are a little amped at the idea of it all.
  3. The fine people at Cilantro Cooks (a MASSIVE Canadian cookware and bakeware shop) asked me to participate in an Expert Interview series and I was beyond honored to share a few thoughts on entrepreneurship and our plans for #worldpiedomination.  Take a look here.  PJP Canada has a compelling ring to it…
  4. We bought a new sticker machine from a company we met in Las Vegas.  I was able to see some proofs of the sticker artwork today and I almost shed a tear for all the sticker making joy coming our way.  We’ve been assured we will be sticker making lady bosses by Thanksgiving.  YES, PLEASE.
  5. I legit can’t even think of one more interesting thing, but ending on number four just felt weird.  You know how I am…

On My Soapbox…

If you’ve driven by the vacant lot at Providence and Broadway lately, you’ve probably thought that corner could use a little something a little less urban blight and a little more urban chic, right?  For most of recent history, the corner has struggled with crumbled concrete as a war waged on in the Columbia City Council about whether or not a CVS Pharmacy could build on that property.  Eventually, CVS grew weary of the council’s overreaching regulatory demands and packed up their architectural plans and found other cities interested in spurring their local economy with jobs and increased tax revenues.  Ahem.

So when I read the latest edition of the Columbia Daily Tribune and saw that the city council has miraculously found $1.1 million dollars to turn that corner into a park, I seriously could only roll my eyes.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT PLAN?

Because here is the thing…I’m subscribed to the KMIZ text alerts and it seems that hardly a day passes where I don’t get a text alert indicating that shots have been fired in Columbia somewhere.  We have a growing crime problem that no one can seemingly solve, not to mention a drug war that we are losing.  And by all accounts, our local police department is woefully underfunded and understaffed.  The traffic unit of the Columbia Police Department has recently been disbanded to provide more resources to the crime patrols (and I’ve read that there is a significant increase in car crashes in Columbia because of the lack of traffic patrols.)

And while I’m on my soapbox, our schools are overcrowded, many streets are in need of repair, and we are growing faster as a city than our infrastructure can develop.  Columbia is an amazing place to live, but we have some very real challenges to keep it that way.  And you know what doesn’t help?  A $1.1 million dollar expenditure on real estate for a park at the corner of a busy intersection.  Yep, I said it.

Clearly, parks are awesome (no snark intended, I’m pro parks…just ones we can afford and ones that make sense.).  Also, according to the Parks and Rec website, Columbia already has 92 available parks in all areas of our city.  Considering we can’t fully staff the police or fire departments (not to mention pay them a decent salary), or continually grow our education and infrastructure needs without a bond issue at every election, then how do we have $1.1 million dollars to buy real estate FOR A PARK?  And where exactly will the money come from to eventually develop the park in that location?  And if it gets finished, how do we keep it a safe place for people to gather?  (Not to mention…what will one do in that park?  Watch the thousands of cars that pass through that intersection each day?).  It certainly isn’t in a location that is along a common walking path, so where do you park to go to the park?  These are things I suspect the city council failed to consider when they wanted to redeem themselves after the CVS debacle.  Or they didn’t even consider because solving all these other issues isn’t easy, but announcing a new park is a “generational opportunity” according to the mayor.  Whatever that is.

Here’s a better idea…allow a private company to develop an appropriate property at that corner that employees people and provides the benefits that people need.  Take the $1.1 million dollars and use it towards the laundry list of things we all need.  Because you know what I need?  Less ballots for bond issues.  Oh, and less text messages from KMIZ about shots fired.  Just saying.

Lady Bosses.

As it turns out, we survived our epic weekend of baking (whew).  In the course of 36 hours or so, we made just over 1,500 tarts, 215 nine-inch pies, and I’m-not-even-sure-how-many baby pies (but likely around 180-ish).


So trust me when I say there was precious little sleep over Friday into Saturday, but there also wasn’t any crying at any point…and that is a legit PJP milestone.  There isn’t any doubt that we are getting better at what we do.  Jeanne and I made 54 apple pies together alone on Saturday morning between 4 am and 7 am, hardly even needing to speak because we could anticipate what the other needed as we worked together to keep the ovens full.   (Also, I should mention here that Team PJP were the absolute stars of the weekend…they stayed late, got up early, and kept rolling out tart shells even when they wanted to kill me for asking for another 100 to be done.)

So all this leaves us thinking about Thanksgiving.  By 4:30 in the morning on Saturday, when I was on a final countdown until Starbucks opened at 5, I was making a compelling argument to Jeanne that we should completely scale back on Thanksgiving…as in, make 200 pies or so on order and no more.  It is no secret that Thanksgiving week almost slays us, plus we spend a fortune on our food truck deliveries, on packaging and supplies, and on payroll.  (Plus, it is a scary endeavor to face such a challenge.)

BUT, if there is a pie holiday, then it only stands to reason that PJP should own it like a couple of lady bosses, right?  So after a reasonable ten hours of sleep on Saturday night and a Sunday of normal life, Jeanne and reconvened this morning to start laying out the logistics of Thanksgiving 2k16, lady boss style.  Whether we will rent the space next door is still out for consideration, but we did at least create the list of ordering options for this year (something we should have formalized weeks ago, as we already have over 100 orders).  At any rate, who would we be if weren’t making big decisions at the last minute?  And we know we will be open for pickup on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday that week.  We are having some preliminary discussions about being open for limited holiday hours that Friday and Saturday (gulp).  But in the meantime, until we figure out that magical number to cap our orders at, plan to place your order soon.  Here’s the list…

  • American Apple
  • Dutch Apple
  • Caramel Apple
  • Peach Praline
  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Streusel
  • Sweet Potato
  • Southern Pecan
  • Chocolate Bourbon Pecan
  • German Chocolate