Back when Miranda and I were fixing up Rule of Pie, right after we purchased it, just as the thing was being born, we kept pretty busy. A lot of the work we put into the building was cosmetic, but we drug all kinds of stuff in and out at all hours of the day and night--made a lot of noise. Folks walking Main got used to us being there. Some would peak inside, some would come in--ask us what we were doing. I'd tell them I was doing next to nothing, namely because it was true. Miranda was spearheading pretty much everything and aside from the time I said all of the bad words I knew after almost falling through the building's flat panel awning while trying to hang our sign, no one seemed to mind us.
There was this one guy though. A guy who walked into the shop and right up to me as I was in the middle of not changing a light fixture very well. Not one for fancy introductions, he demanded to know what kind of soup I was serving at the cafe I was opening because I was opening a cafe (because he had read it on Facebook) and, thank God, a cafe was exactly the kind of thing the town needed. So this was an important question. He was glad to meet me, but before that it was important for me to know that I needed to serve different kinds of soup with our sandwiches--split pea among them. Split Pea and Ham. After that, a failed joke about the five points of Calvinism, double predestination, and apropos of nothing, he asked:
Do you know what kind of coffee is the best coffee?
Nope, I said.
It's Folgers, he said. Folgers Coffee is my favorite coffee. You have to serve some of that here.
I explained that weren't going to serve sandwiches nor soup because were weren't opening a cafe. I also explained that we weren't going to serve Folgers because it sucked. Things took a turn for the worse there because he kept projecting his predilections. He wasn't angry because he couldn't understand what I was saying. He understood. He was angry because I wasn't saying what he wanted me to say, you know. If Folgers is the best part of your waking up, go back to sleep. Just try again, man.
I don't think most people are like that guy and if given then chance I don't think they'll demand subjugation to the Order Cheap Coffee and the High Priest of Split Pea. I actually think most people are reasonable, if not altogether pragmatic. Either that, or we've had really, really good luck with customers. Everyone is so patient with us.
See, we make a certain number of pies for pre-order purposes, and a certain number of pies for walk-in purposes every week. X = pre-order pies, Y = walk-in pies, X + Y = Z.
Z never changes. Even if demand increases there's only a certain number of pies we can make in a week, given that our store has a limited carrying capacity. Even if we had more hands to guide the dough, right now, we don't have the prerequisite space to store all of our ingredients. We don't have the ovens to bake them. Now, we have some exciting news to reveal in the near future, but for now--it is what it is. Our staff is small and so is our store. And we're not going to bake on Monday to make due for a Friday Christmas. Monday pies can't be consumed on Friday--we won't encourage it anyway. I mean, do what you want with our stuff once you take it out of the store, but fresh food is the best food.
So we've shut down Christmas pre-orders for the season. We're maxed out. We're sorry. We'll grow and get better. In the meantime, thanks for bearing with us.
And if you're ever going to walk straight into a hardware store and demand fried chicken--ride that bomb, Slim Pickens. At least demand that the fried chicken be good.