All The Feelings
We had one of those weekends that will prove to eventually make a good six minute segment on the E! True Hollywood Story: Behind The Scenes At Peggy Jean's Pies. Would we like to experience ALL THE FEELINGS in a scant 48 hours? Yes, yes we would.
So, on Friday we baked 1,432,521 tarts. Just kidding. I think it was around 130, but it felt closer to 1,432,521. We also baked a lot of pies for our Saturday tasting at Lucky's. We really wanted to try some new pies. While that doesn't sound like so much baking in particular, it was one of those days where we just couldn't seem to make forward progress. Pies went in the oven, pies came out of the oven, pies went in the oven...you get the picture. It was 10 am and the next thing we knew, it was 8 pm that night and I really just wanted some pants that weren't covered in flour or splashes of dark spiced rum.
Prepping for a sampling day is never easy. You have to cut up all the pies into small slices and put them in the cups and add a little spoon. You also have to then line all the cups up on baking trays and cover them in saran wrap to transport them to the store. Guess who forgot to order the sample cups and spoons? Yep, me. Guess who went to a local store and searched for alternatives? Yep, me. It is much harder than you would guess to find small sized cups and itty-bitty spoons. By the time we arrived at Lucky's, we were a bit spent already. We basically went straight from drinking coffee to drinking wine.
The new pies debuted like a contestant at the Miss America pageant. A bit shy at first, but then really started to show their talent after some rave reviews. The whole point of trying the pies out was to get an honest vibe from people about whether they liked the pies or not - and we honestly didn't know what to expect.
The verdict? The Drunken Apple and Boozy Blue and White Chocolate Strawberry are here to stay. The response was overwhelmingly positive and that was welcome news to our ears. The downside? Sampling some really great pies and having people excited to buy the pies and we didn't have any in stock. AWKWARD. I hadn't really considered that part...so it basically went down as "Oh, you love this pie? Great! The store might carry it in a few weeks or you can wait until we open our shop in March." Sheesh. Something tells me Rachael Ray never has conversations akin to "Oh, you love this skillet I use? Great! You can't buy it anywhere."
Which brings me to a whole separate topic that brought up a number of feelings...stocking inventory at Lucky's. Our experience in stocking a retails store is, oh...non-existent. For the past few weeks, we've been going to the store twice a day and gauging what is selling and what isn't and then re-stocking based on that highly unscientific data collection. Our picking and choosing on the inventory has seemed a bit odd...and stressful. There have been many nights where I just wanted to enjoy Harry Connick, Jr on the American Idol and instead I was a little distracted with the whole "there were 19 pies there at 3 pm...what if there are only 5 pies now? Should I bake some right now or have none sold and it would just be overstocking?" concept. I don't have a degree in business, but I doubt they cover that concept in any MBA class (probably because people getting their MBA would find a solution to the whole problem before they sat around and wasted their American Idol time with their imaginations running away from them).
Solution? Pie calendar. We have created a pie calendar that will help us know exactly what to bring on each day. It is based on what is called "par values" (Bill from Lucky's used this term...we just acted like we understood) but really, it left Jeanne, Jason, and I studying the spreadsheet and concluding three different results. I'll spare you the details, so here is all you need to know:
Stocked Everyday: Apple, Cherry, Peach Praline, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan, French Silk
Monday extras: Dutch Apple, Pecan, Coconut Cream
Tuesday extras: Mixed Berry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Coconut Cream
Wednesday extras: Dutch Apple, Peach, Pecan, Chocolate Cream, Lemon
Thursday extras: Blackberry, German Chocolate, Strawberry Rhubarb, Coconut Cream
Friday extras: Dutch Apple, German Chocolate, Chocolate Cream
Saturday extras: Blueberry, Blackberry, German Chocolate, Strawberry Rhubarb, Coconut Cream, Lemon
Sunday extras: Mixed Berry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Coconut Cream
We also plan to add in the Drunken Apple, Boozy Blue, Rhubarb, and Peanut Butter Chiffon in the coming weeks on an alternate basis.
We are working on some sort of cute calendar to post at Lucky's to display all the above information. And if that sounded vague, that is because it is. I have no idea what that will look like and I fear if left up to me, it will involve a Sharpie and some colored dots for coding garage sale items. Do we think Lucky's is down with that?