Crack Is Whack.
Last Thursday, we hosted our second Summer Series Pie Happy Hour. And much like the June event, the fun DID NOT DISAPPOINT. We already knew we had the best customers ever, but we can now officially confirm that we also have the most fun customers ever. True story. Look at all the pie-loving fun...
So, if you aren't familiar...here is the back story: on the third Thursday of the month, we host a pie tasting event at PJP Buttonwood. It starts at 6:30 and tickets to the event are $20. We cap the event at 25 or so people, just to keep the event intimate (and because PJP Buttonwood is square foot challenged).
We choose 15 different pie flavors. Some of the flavors are regular PJP offering and some are new flavors that we are considering introducing in the regular menu. We make 30 tarts of each flavor (that is 450 tarts...I just double checked on my iPhone calculator). That is the nicest way that I can think of to say that we bake tarts ALL DAY on Happy Hour day.
All that said, choosing the flavors for the party is actually the hardest part of preparing for the party. This month, we mixed it up with some familiar favorites and some new choices as well. Also, we debuted a pie that we LOVE, but can't settle on a name (we affectionately call it "crack pie" but feel we need a more public friendly name), so we offered our attendees the opportunity to suggest names.
Perhaps the best part of the party is that we don't actually tell our guests what pies they are eating. We just label them "a", "b", "c", and so forth. Guests receive a paper and they write down their guesses. Those who make the most pie flavor guesses correctly become major award winners. Typically, first place receives a gift certificate for a nine-inch pie. Second place receives a PJP t-shirt, and third place earns a certificate for a baby pie. Our first, second, and third place winners this month all happened to be seated at the same table...so I guess the moral of the story is that good friends have good palates?
Speaking of...table of champions:
It takes about an hour for everyone to work through 15 tarts. Once everyone feels as if they have sufficiently eaten everything they can without needing to change into sweatpants, we reveal the order of the pies and award the winners. And then we package up all the remaining tarts for our guests to take home because everyone knows the best breakfast after an evening out of pie-tasting is pie.
The secret to these functions are that they are dual purpose. We have fun AND we gain invaluable feedback about what customers enjoy and what they would like to see in PJP Buttonwood on a more regular basis. The winner of last Thursday's party was a tie between Pumpkin Chiffon and our unnamed Crack Pie. In fact, in the name suggestions, we found this card and we couldn't stop laughing (well done, Brian and Megan)...
Our next event is scheduled for August 21st and it is over half-full, so stop by PJP Buttonwood to get your tickets soon. (As a brief hint, we will be focusing on fall pies.)
PS...all photos were taken by Caroline Leemis, best Interior Designer that ever existed. She also has a whole side business in keeping our sanity in check.