Dear Big Box Store...
If you happened to stop by PJP today, you probably saw that it looked like a baking war zone. We basically baked all day, only stopping for a brief run for coffee. And tomorrow's forecast looks to be much the same...100% chance of baking all day (and probably all night). And when customers ask how we are doing with growing our business (and they often do), I really do try to acknowledge that we are so very busy...and for that, we are so very thankful. That we need spinal realignment after standing on concrete floors for 18 hours in a row is basically a first world problem, right? Because here is the thing about owning a small business that few people will tell you...being so busy you can barely find a few moments to think during the day is 100% better than sitting around all day wondering where all the customers might be. We've had a few slow days here and there, especially after the holidays. And they send the part of me prone to anxiety straight into overdrive. Give me two in a row and I'm basically teetering on the edge of holding it together. Thankfully, Jeanne reminds me that some days are like that and the days of being overwhelmed far outweigh the days of slow pacing and clock watching. She is super wise that way. (She also appreciates the slow times to scrub flour off the floor with a razor blade.)
By way of a very long story (and I'll spare you the details), a big box store in town posted some signs this week that suggested their pies were cheaper and people should be buying those pies rather than ours (they didn't use our name, but I felt like the inference was very real in the context it was discussed). And it super hurt my feelings (and when I say "super hurt", I mean I ranted around for a good four days about it to my Inner Circle). Then I moved on to righteous indignation because it was sort of a jerk move on their part. And then I was just irritated in the end. Perhaps their pies are cheaper but they are a massive corporation and we aren't. (And I wanted to write on their sign in a Sharpie that Wal-Mart pies are actually cheaper than the big box store's pies...it is all relative.)
And now that I've had some time to reflect on what exactly bothered me the most about the whole ordeal, I've narrowed it down to this: owning a small business is hard, fo'real. Growing a vision and making it into A THING isn't for the faint of heart. And the big box store suggestion that a buck or so cheaper was worth something made it feel like what we are doing to build World Pie Domination was somehow not as important. So...
Dear Big Box Store,
I can only assume that you might be worried about your share of the pie market and that panic lead to making dumb signs on your computer and then printing them out and taping them up. And guess what...you probably should be worried. We make AMAZING pies...they look great and they taste even better and I'll never have any modesty when it comes to what we create. But here is the thing, take our pies and add to it that we create them with every ounce of our love, our creativity, and our belief that we are building a company that will last long beyond either of us. Add in a killer baking space and a crew of workers that have become our family and in the end, you don't just get a PJP pie...you get a PJP experience. And that so isn't happening in a big box store. And because of all of that, we are 100% ok with your product being $1 cheaper. Sorry. Not sorry.