There used to be a pie shop in Columbia, Missouri named "Peggy Jean's Pies" and aptly, it was owned by two friends - Jeanne Wagster and Peggy Day. And you might think "so what? pies are not really a big deal..." and in a lot of cases, you might be right. But not here. Peggy Jean's was a destination. The pies were made from scratch with the best ingredients and love. The shop sold traditional sized pies and also baby pies...a five inch personal paradise just for you...
Peggy Jean's sold A LOT of pies. A lot of homemade, made-from-scratch-from-recipes-generations-old, pies. There was media coverage...television, newsprint, magazine, book mentions...across the United States and even internationally. I mean, wouldn't you want to buy this and take it home?
Peggy Jean's closed in 2004. What? I know...why, right? The short version of a sad story is this: production and demand increased and Peggy's health greatly decreased. How do you balance your baby business growing and your best friend dying? It wasn't a question that Jeanne or anyone else could answer. The doors closed, the equipment was sold, the Peggy Jean's sign went into storage.
But. (And isn't that everyone's favorite and least favorite word, besides maybe "if"?)...but, pies were always in Jeanne's mind. Even as Peg's life ended and Jeanne's life took twists and turns away from the Chapel Hill pie shop location, the idea and the love was always there. She would discuss it with me (I'm her daughter) and I would dismiss it, remembering only when she would smell like exhaustion and flour.
I don't have to tell you this, but a lot happens to people's lives in 10 years. Things occur and pieces move and suddenly, you start to think that bringing back Peggy Jean's is an AHHHH-MAAZZZ-ING idea. So you mention it to a few people and uh...everyone wholeheartedly agrees. You start to talk about logistics and money and long-term plans and you don't have any red flags...just smooth sailing through calm seas. You think A LOT. You use your iPhone calculator A LOT. You Google the market cost of a 1,000 pounds of flour. (You only do this once, but consider it enough to mark it off your bucket list). You think some more. And you find a spot you like. And you make a list of to-do's a mile long. You count how many days between today and Thanksgiving week, because if we are coming back...well, we are coming back in time for Thanksgiving, right?
We told ourselves that if we could find a space that worked (right size, right location, right price), then this dream would get on the road to realitytown. Two days later...boom. Location? Check. Size? Check. Price? And here it is, as it sits this very second (the landlord is using it for storage for his personal business...we aren't hoarders).
We have a vision...
...and let me tell you, it is totally awesomesauce. But we can't do it without you, our dear pie loving friends. We have the dream, the energy, the love, and the tensile strength of a 1,000 women. We are bringing pie-baking back - the old way, with a rolling pin and pounds of flour and no machines, and with our hands. And while we can certainly do the work, we are fairly certain commercial landlords, city permit-issuers, manufacturers of large pie-baking ovens, and truck drivers bringing loads of flour, sugar, and butter don't consider pie to be an acceptable form of payment-in-full. Our Kickstarter campaign will work with our visions for the shop and launch us into full baking mode. We want you to be a part of our journey!
Risks and challenges
As with starting any business, especially a small business, risks and challenges are inherent to the process. The fantastic thing about this particular concept is we've been down this road once before and we know what works exceptionally well - and not well - for Peggy Jean's in the marketplace. We know the brand and the product works. We know expanding to large retail spaces and serving breakfast and lunch with a full waitstaff isn't our vision for this Peggy Jean's. We are focusing on what we know best - pie.
We hope to open by Thanksgiving 2013 - timing will be an issue. Once we get started, we will be staring into the face of the two largest pie holidays of the year. We will be trying a lot of new things - relying on social media to keep customers informed, a steady baking schedule, and perhaps even focusing on slices of pie rather than baby pies to keep costs under control. Same product, new rules. Same brand, new goals.
We have scouted a location we believe is totally awesome. We are looking at 3601 Buttonwood in Columbia. For you locals, this is directly behind the Sonic at Nifong and Buttonwood, on the flip side of JoAnn's Fabrics. It is 1,000 square feet, which will serve our baking needs beautifully. We have employed an architectural firm and have a set of plans that will not only meet city code requirements, but make Peggy Jean's a BEAUTIFUL space. Our new layout and design will be warm, inviting, interesting, and compel you to visit often.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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