Cheers To Expert Guy.
We had our highly anticipated meeting with our vacuum sealing expert this morning to discuss our Walmart pie dough project. We are in a market for a sealer for our pie dough (and really, aren't we all?) that will be gentle enough to seal the dough...making it tamper proof AND flushing the gasses from around the dough to extend the shelf life. It all sounds fairly simple, right? Vacuum pack the two pie tins of dough, put in box, seal box, send to Walmart, sell one million units.
But since flushing gasses from our dough on the regular isn't in our wheelhouse, we've had to rely on a serious amount of expert help. And finally we met the expert in person this morning after he drove over from St. Louis to finally hold our pie dough tins in his hands and verify if a machine exists that meets our needs. AND IT DOES. (Someone, cue the hallelujahs now).
We don't know ALL THE THINGS about it yet (and frankly after a discussion about chemistry and flushing gasses, I'm not even sure I care about the specifics at this point as long as it works for what we need). But what we do know is that the machine we will start with will be relatively small. It will easily fit through our front door and fit into our current space with a little creative reorganization. And while the pricing is a bit of an unknown right now, it MIGHT be less than $8,000. (And by this, I would guess they mean $7,999.97. But since we aren't sure yet, I'm choosing to not worry about it now and just Scarlett O'Hara the whole thing and think about it tomorrow. Maybe if we act quickly and pay shipping and handling, we could get two for $7,999.97.)
So, ideally, we put two pie shells in the machine, close the lid, and wait for less than a minute. The machine seals the product and flushes all of the oxygen out from the packaging. (We know our dough has a minimum 30 day shelf life but if it is exposed to oxygen, it will start to oxidize and turn the dough green. Gulp.)
And once we solve the sealing, we can order our shelf life test. And once we do our shelf life test, we can purchase insurance based on our process of making and sealing the dough. And then we've done almost everything Walmart asked. Whew.
So expert guy left with pie dough in pie tins and a promise to run them through the machine and update us Monday with our next steps (which will probably be shipping 12 pie crusts on dry ice to the company headquarters). Cheers to expert guy and vacuum sealers in general. There's a sentence I never thought I'd type...