Best Weekend Ever.
Well, I know a lot of you are anxious for the rundown on our Roots and Blues weekend, so I'll start here: BEST WEEKEND EVER.
Seriously. Let's start at the beginning...
On Friday, we arrived to set up our tent to find that we were a mere 100 feet from the Missouri Lottery main stage (and if you are keeping track, you'll know that made us Jason Isbell-adjacent for the weekend). I'm declaring us as the vendor with the best location in the entire park because it was a) high traffic area for festival goers and b) we got to sell pies in our booth while listening to every act performing on the stage right next door. (Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats was excellent and we heard from Hospitality that they took most of the pies we had in the supplied back to their hotel after the show.)
And if you are wondering about selling the pies and how that went, well...we sold over a thousand tarts. Earlier in the week, I had ordered 1,000 small glassine wax bags to hold the tarts and was a little righteously indignant that I couldn't buy a box of 500 because I didn't want a lot leftover. And as it turns out, I ran about 500 bags short and Jeanne had to stop by Wal-Mart to buy plastic treat bags. And if those numbers aren't impressive, we sold around 200 baby pies and even a few nine-inch pies that were leftover after the store closed on Saturday. (People that purchase a nine-inch pie and then ask for eight forks are my kind of people.)
The only downside was our inability to bake to meet the demand...we sold out a number of times. At one point, a group congregated as Jeanne radioed in that she was on the golf cart from the parking lot with a fresh supply of warm pies. They cheered her arrival and then bought every single thing on the cart in under 10 minutes. It is safe to say that we restocked our tent at least 12 times over the course of the weekend and still found ourselves out of everything before the last show started on Sunday night.
And here I should drop an enormous shoutout to the PJP crew, who hung with us and baked hundreds and hundreds of pies and stocked the tents with pies and sold pies and stayed late with me and basically did anything we asked for a solid 48 hours. We all slept very little this weekend and we asked a lot of them...to which they made us so proud, as always.
So that is all well and good right? Well hold on to your hats for this...
WE HAD A JASON ISBELL ENCOUNTER AND IT WAS EVERYTHING I DREAMT IT WOULD BE.
On Saturday morning, I arrived early and began setting up our booth for day two. As I was unloading behind our booth, I looked up to see Jason Isbell sitting in a camp chair on his computer a mere six feet from me. (Yeah, I freaked.) So when Jeanne arrived, she put together a bag of tarts and marched herself over to Jason and gave him pie and told him that her daughter listened to him at the shop all the time until she (Jeanne) was absolutely sick of him. To which Jason laughed and slowly turned around and looked at me while I stood like a deer in the headlights. I think I waved. I'm completely certain it was awkward.
Ten hours later, just before Jason was set to be on stage, he sent over someone to get me and bring me to his bus for a selfie. I KNOW. Look, the whole thing was a blur. I think that I told him I loved his music. I remember thinking that he was taller than I expected. And that he smelled good, which I feel is an important part of this story. IT WAS THE BEST EVER. (Well, then we got to stand in the very front row and watch Jason in concert and then we sold 1,500 pies and the weather was perfect and we all had fun...so, yeah. BEST EVER.) So much love for you, Roots and Blues. (And Jason, obvs)...