This Way Up...
As you probably know, we've been working for the past month or so on developing a shipping box that allows us to ship a pie across the United States and have it arrive on the doorstep as a pie...an actual PJP pie, not a flash-frozen, plastic-wrapped iteration of a PJP pie. And you would think that in mid-2014, shipping a pie via two-day air wouldn't be that difficult. I've watched enough Shipping Wars on A&E to know that I could have someone haul a used Russian fighter jet from Florida to California for $5,000 bucks. So one box with one PJP pie to New York City to the doorstep of Director of Publicity and Something-Else-I-Can't-Remember Charlotte's apartment doorstep? Well...frustratingly more difficult than you would think.
In our past test shipments, we've had substantial issues with the crust breaking in transit. For the most part, the pie stays in the pie tin, but the shifting as it is thrown from truck to truck equates to disaster.
I was driving to PJP Buttonwood a few Saturday mornings ago and I had an epiphany. If we know the crust is the problem with shipping nine-inch pies, can we start to ship our other products while we continue to work on the big pie logistics? Hello, Jelly Jar pies...I'm talking just to you. And because I knew they wouldn't mind random thoughts on a Saturday morning, I texted Spencer at Worldwide Express and Mike from Pratte Industries and asked if we could make it happen.
It took quite a few texts and pictures and measuring to get Mike the information he needed, but eventually he felt like he had enough to bring me a prototype shipment box. And it didn't disappoint. Check out this picture with just one jelly jar nestled in it's new home...
The box felt promising. Even as we started to add jelly jars and then shake the box around (and perhaps maybe turning it upside down and dropping it on the floor), we both felt good that the box would survive a two-day air journey. As a final vote of confidence, FedEx just happened to be delivering something to us and we asked the delivery guy for his professional box-handling opinion. After picking it up, shaking it, and analyzing it, he confirmed that he felt good about it. And that writing "fragile" and "this way up" on each box would be an epic waste of time, as no logistics specialist stops the box loading to carefully lay one fragile box in a special spot. Hmpf.
But who cares, but after two breath-holding days, Director of Publicity and Something-Else-I-Can't-Remember Charlotte called to report the six jelly jar pies had made it to her doorstep in pristine condition.
In fact, she proclaimed the pies to be "darling" - and in Charlotte-speak, that means we did something just right.
So, next up is more test shipments to far-flung locations to double check the integrity of the packaging. This week jelly jars will be heading to Canada, Hawaii, and a few more locales. And if that works, then you (yep, you reading this) will be able to ship six packs of jelly jar pies to your favorite person...without regard to if they are 100 miles away or 1000 miles away. And if pie is home, isn't sending a little piece of home to someone you love the best gift?