On Your Fourth Birthday.

Dear Sweet PJP, In just a few hours, we'll roll right into the day that celebrates your FOURTH birthday.  We've been at this together for 1,460 days...can you even believe it?  Just when we think we have you all figured out, you keep Jeanne and I guessing and working hard...it's my VERY FAVORITE THING about you.  You are never the same each day and for that, we are thankful.  You are also demanding, complex, extraordinary, and noteworthy.  It isn't surprising I would use the same adjectives to describe Jeanne and I.  We are you, and you are us.  Is that how all businesses work?  Likely not, but I love so much that we work this way.

So let's talk about your third year because you really came into your own over the past 12 months.  While keenly aware that most restaurants fail within the first five years of operation, your growth chart continues to be a steady incline and it has been beautiful to watch.  And more than any other year, you've needed our mental leadership.  It feels like we've suddenly we've reached an understanding...you know what to do, but only if we can tell you how to do it.  Sounds easy, right?  But honestly, you've pushed Jeanne and I to grow more as entrepreneurs than ever before (and certainly beyond the capacity we ever imagined for ourselves).  Goodness, PJP, I love you so much that I finally stopped giving our finances the side eye on the theory that escrowing for sales tax "isn't fun".  And now when I take a deep dive into QuickBooks every morning, I mostly feel good about it.  Because you deserve it and it feels better to get out of our own way on our path to success.  And we both know that we have so much more to work on...we are a two steps forward, one step back sort of show around here.

More than ever this year, people are starting to notice how special it is to be a part of #worldpiedomination.  From several mentions in Buzzfeed to a splashy Food Network accolade, you are moving straight ahead to the national stage.  And while we've always known from the very first day just how special you are, watching others acknowledge it gives me almost more pride than my heart can handle.  And for the most part, that sustains us through the tougher days when the hours are long, the decisions more difficult, and the work list is ever longer.  Notably, it feels less and less like we are running down a hill without an out-of-control boulder chasing behind us.  I'm so certain that we are slowly figuring it out that I'm whispering it into the universe.  In a few days, we might have the sort of day that just slays us and I'll be certain I should take my declaration back.  I'm very alarmist that way, but you already know that about me.  In return, you are consistent in all the ways I need.  I adore you for it.

So in the next 12 months, let's just work on growing what we do, ok?  You'll have to push us to figure out how to get to the next level because a food service establishment that makes it past 60 months is a veritable unicorn according to the Internet.  The Internet doesn't know you, PJP...but we do.  And it is going to be AHHHHHMAZING to see what this year brings us.

All the love,