We've been working a bit on two projects that are both in the top five for our 2016 goals...namely, the ability to ship nine-inch pies across the country via UPS and also, the possibility of selling our unbaked pie dough in the local grocery stores. And while both projects have great potential for PJP, they both share a common problem: BOXES. Since opening our doors, Jeanne and I have dreamed of custom pie boxes. Custom boxes with our logo and whatever else we can squeeze on the four sides and the bottom would bump our game up AND save us from the unrelenting need for overpriced stickers (that we usually run out of anyway). We once priced the amount to have a custom box printed for each type of pie we make and then after we recovered from the shock of seeing the price, we let that dream go. (But we still think of it with longing on occasion.)
But to sell pie dough in the stores, well, you would basically have to have a printed box, right? I can't imagine waging a war against Pillsbury in a plain logo stickered box. (Not that Pillsbury knows who we are. Or cares.) We would need a box that included, at a minimum, instructions for use and a listing of ingredients. Packaging is so important in the retail market, so bringing our best version is paramount in this project.
After talking to one billion or so box companies, I've discovered a few things - 1) pie boxes aren't standard stock for most companies, 2) and if they do stock the boxes, printed ones can only be flat packed, meaning we assemble them from scratch, 3) and if they have the boxes AND we want to assemble them (which we don't), they cost A FORTUNE. One quote I received today was $2.68 a box. A BOX. And that is for a simple two-color print. Gah. I really should have gone into the stickering and box industries because you can sell everything for a billion dollars and people just have to buy it because what else are they going to do?
I do have more hope of for our second project - shipping a nine-inch pie. We've tried this several times, always with disappointing results on the receiving end. A box company located in St. Louis brought us a new prototype box late last week that incorporates spring platform panels under the nine-inch pie box AND above it, plus an insert that stabilizes the pie. (As you would expect, all assembled it requires seven different pieces. We do the assembly. Hmpf.)
But...we need to know if the box even works and this is where you come in. If you are reading this and you would be willing to accept a shipment of a pie this Friday in exchange for letting us know the condition of the box and pie upon arrival, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll need to not live in Missouri or a surrounding state...we need this pie to take several UPS truck rides and preferably, even an airplane ride to the final destination. Or maybe a toss across the front yard...