Back In The Day
Let's go back to 1994. I pounded out my college term papers on a very fancy word processor. If I wanted to watch Nancy Kerrigan's Olympic dreams be shattered by Tonya Harding and a shovel, well then I had to wait to watch the coverage on the nightly news. And cell phones looked like this:
And Peggy Jean's Pies was born. Here is a photo of the very first location and it was TAKEN WITH A POLAROID, PEOPLE.
And before we get swept away in all the fanciness and grandeur of the exterior, let's take a quick peek at the interior:
As you can guess, 800 square feet didn't contain all the pie baking needs for too long and so in 1995, Peggy Jean's moved to downtown Columbia. I don't have an exterior shot of the building (in fact, I only have these pictures because Peg's husband Leroy was a true believer in documenting all things with the Polaroid). The second shop was at 816 E Broadway, under American Shoe and Saffee's. The space almost quadrupled the old location and I think this is where you get the first glimpse of what Peggy Jean's really captured in the mid-1990s (think antiques and placemats...so, so, so many placemats). Sadly, I don't have a picture of the window you could stand at and watch the bakers roll dough, but if you were standing the shop looking at the scene below, you would be standing directly in front of that window. (Leroy's Polaroid must have finally broken by then).
After five fast-paced, dough rolling, pie filling mixing years, Peggy Jean's was on the move again. While they loved being downtown, visibility from the street was difficult. Enter location #3, 1605 Chapel Hill Road.
And while this may be the worst quality picture ever, this is my personal favorite in the location department. It was bright and spacious and the view from the office (that circle window above the awning) was pretty awesome. But as you know, more space means more employees, more work, more decisions, more of everything. The shop was serving breakfast AND lunch by that time, which was an overwhelming endeavor. Though totally raise your hand if you would be willing to walk barefoot back through time in order to have a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant.
If you have really good Google skills, you can find photos and videos from a lot of national press that Peggy Jean's received while in this space. Southern Living magazine, Victoria magazine, and Food Network all made a visit to Chapel Hill Road. This location is where Peg's health really started to fail, starting in 2001. While she would eventually pass away from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in 2005, she battled all sorts of health related precursors that impacted her role at the shop in the years immediately before. The shop closed in 1996 (read about that here: http://peggyjeans.blogspot.com/2013/09/it-might-really-happen.html)
But as the author Frank Herbert said "[t]here is no real ending. Just the place where you stop the story." I can't wait to see the story of Peggy Jean's V. 2.0 in this space...