By Lauren Bolden, Owner, Pie Bar
Photo: Lauren (ME!) surrounded by pies during the holiday season.
You made it through Year One, and you are back for seconds.
ORRRR I just trapped you in and now want to continue bonding with you over the story that you never asked to hear.. who am I? My Mother? jkjkjk..I love you Mom. Plz don't stop reading.
We left off after discussing Year One. I shared about the decision to quit my day job and pursue my passion and how the first year of running Pie Bar was more challenging and exciting than I could have ever dreamed.
Year One taught me lessons on hard-work, dedication, honesty, trust, and accepting feedback..whether it was constructive comments on how we could improve or understanding that sometimes you cannot please everyone. #understatementofthedecade
It was also incredibly joyful. It brought so many new and wonderful people into our lives that quickly turned from guests to friends. It taught me that I am stronger than I ever thought I was, and that I can peel hundreds of pounds of apples and not physically die.
Going into Year Two, I felt ready to take on new challenges. I was excited to pass the "1st Birthday" mark and show people that Pie Bar is going to be around for a while.
Throughout Year One and into the beginning of Year Two, many people would ask me, "Just Pie? How does that work?"
To be honest with you, this question was hurtful to me at the time. Although intentions were never malicious, I allowed it to make me feel like I wasn't doing enough. That by only serving pie, I was failing as a business owner and community member. I can actually remember arguing with Cody about adding more items to our menu...and then, only a few months into Year Two, things changed.
On November 23, 2016, Pie Bar was featured on a baking competition show called Sugar Showdown. It was aired across The United States and Canada and all 1 trillion viewers (ok..maybe I am exaggerating a tiny bit..1 billion viewers 😉 ) saw the Pie Bar baking team compete against other pie bakers from across the country... and we won... $10,000!! Psst. Here is a fun article about it!
When we got back (practically floated) to Woodstock, I was still asked that same question.."Just Pie?"...but I was ready now. Instead of allowing those questions to intimidate me, I finally took control of that narrative. I welcomed those questions so I could puff out my chest, stand up tall, and exclaim, "YES, JUST PIE!!" (Then I realized I was scaring people away so I took it down a notch).
I learned that growth meant more than expanding our menu or increasing our bottom line, it meant PERSONAL GROWTH, and by shifting my mindset and embracing our vision for "Just Pies" that I could better serve our team and our guests.
Year Two gave Pie Bar a national platform as well as an opportunity to stand proud in what we do. Looking back now, I see that Year Two was setting us up for what was to come in Year Three (HINT, OBVIOUS, HINT).
People from across the country started to reach out. They shared with us their most precious memories of time with loved ones over a slice of pie or spent in the kitchen baking pies.
It started to spark something that would be set into motion over 1 year later..but of course, the time has come for me to bid adieu..for now.
Thank you for continuing to put up with me. Of course, this ain't over yet..we have a couple more story times to go...like how about Year Three?!