Welcome 2020, New Year, New Decade.

I know I’m a few days late, but this Wednesday holiday business was just nutty, and for some reason, I feel like the New Year officially begins after this weekend, on Monday.

My last email/post was asking if anyone was listening. Thanks for the replies and the vote of confidence. I now have multiple drafts sitting in a virtual pile from a variety of topics. Beware the Award Winning Key Lime Pie! Key Lime is an Ingredient, Not a Style. It’s All About the Juice!. But rants about the sorry state of the Key lime products and shoddy standards for what the marketplace offers as “authentic” pies will have to wait. Writer’s block on those subjects is allowed, but I feel a New Years’ wish to everyone is deemed compulsatory.

The passing of another decade and our entering our 25th year: this one seems to weigh a little heavier. 2020 (20/20) can’t help but bring up the suggestion of good vision. Ironically, so many aspects of our future are out of our sight, and our control. But Victoria and I have decided to put our efforts into getting the shipping together, this year. From afar, it might seem like such a simple thing to do. Even close-up it does, but the devil is in the details.

We’re actively seeking some professional help to pull all the loose ends together on the web-end of things; WordPress, Woo-Commerce, ShipStation, etc if anyone has any recommendations. We feel pretty confident in the pie-end of things. That’s the short of it.

The first round will be test-shipments offered at a reasonable discount, and those will be offered to or most loyal email followers. MailChimp is kind enough to keep track of these things.

We noticed that a major dessert/food “reseller” has placed a Google Ad above search results for our business. I warn you: of all their choices of key lime pie you can purchase, none meet the standards which have put us on the map. None! My motivation for writing my previously mentioned drafts is precisely this. We’ve turned down offers in the past to join the pool of key lime mediocrity: no thank you. But this is also what motivates us to make this current push in our shipping capacity.

In closing, on behalf of Victoria, Derek, and myself, we do wish everyone well in the new year. And Jordan in California, thanks for the nudge to get this out.

Is Anyone Listening?

I ran into an old friend and business neighbor last week, and as usual, we chatted about business, family life and as always, fishing. Charles Flickinger (glass bender extraordinaire) and I were neighbors on Pier-41 in Red Hook since 2001 until Hurricane Sandy would see us relocate all of 500-600 feet to our new location. As close as we remain in terms of the neighborhood, being in a different building makes a huge difference when it comes to daily interaction.

Part of the conversation had Charles telling me how he has engaged his niece to handle his social media. A monthly newsletter via email, updates to Instagram, and Facebook. It all sounds good, and it seems like that job does require one person to stay on top of communicating with the customer base.

I find that keeping up with social media can be a loathsome task at times. Besides, I feel I don’t have anything interesting to say. I had mentioned to Charles that my email list hadn’t seen an email sent in all of 2018 and nothing this year either. But he encouraged me anyway and suggested that I rethink my attitude about social engagement.

Over the many years of maintaining a web presence, I have had a more than a few iterations of a blog. The Pieman’s Journal, the View from the Waterfront, even my pie-runner Sunny Jim, was required to keep his comical running account of his experience working with us. My then-manager added her occasional offerings with Sam’s Rose Colored Glasses. I did have some interest in my posts, which were more about my observations in general than anything work-related. They weren’t about pies and product or the challenges of running a business or upselling our latest new offering. But in terms of Charles’ prodding me to hit the re-set button, I asked myself, is anyone listening?

I recently activated keylime.org to promote our “One Seed at a Time” initiative, which finds us sending key lime seeds to the Florida Keys. It has required me to post updates which usually consist of a few lines of text or a link. But it has reintroduced me to the need to update regularly and required me to write, even just a little. But behind all of this, I have always been writing: countless drafts reminiscent of old are piled up in a folder. It turns out that I do have a lot to say. But finding the focus is more challenging, and completing thoughts to a written offering never happens. I’ll add to that; I am not learned in proper writing techniques, even the basic structure of a sentence.

So that’s the question I pose, is anyone listening? Does it matter if anyone is listening or not? The internets is home to countless personal observations and amateur reviews, what’s one more? So I think I’ll give it a try. On the one hand, I owe it to those on my email list (and those who might find my missives online) a reminder that we’re still here. And everyone wants to know (please don’t ask) WHEN ARE YOU SHIPPING? If I had been conveying some of the daily challenges we’ve faced, there might be a better understanding as to why we’re not shipping.

Actually, I’m beginning to think that —as a business owner— it’s my responsibility to communicate with my followers. What a novel idea, not. So I’ll give it a go, post this to the website and send a copy our those on the email list, sit back and find out if anyone is listening or not.

Drop a line, won’t you?

Socially Awkward

Six Emotions, Take Your Pick.

Just a shout-out to family and friends (and foe alike) who might have noticed the absence of my persona on the Facebook. I have suspended my account, however, am still active on the business end of things.

I arrived at this decision for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost, I felt it was taking too much of a bite from my ability to focus and be productive. I initially joined Facebook for business reasons anyway, but eventually, I found that the platform (on a personal level) was kinda fun. I reconnected with many old friends and acquaintances from Miami, I was able to share moments in my life, and it became an ongoing chronicle for anything from what’s for dinner or sharing time on the road, to crisis and disappointment. It also allowed me to see into the lives of others as they cared to share. It was good while it lasted, and I will sincerely miss that connection with many of my “friends” on Facebook. But it’s time to close this chapter, at least for the time being.

We relaunched our website a little while back, and one of the sections included is the “blog” page, where this is being posted today. Anyone who has been following the growth of my business over the past 20+ years might remember a few iterations of attempts at blogging; The Pieman’s Journal, and Sam and Steve’s Rose Colored Glasses we’re just a few. It’s a place for business and product updates, but also a place for me to express some opinions and observations, not so much because I think what I have to say would be of interest to anyone, but more because I do enjoy writing.

So, if we had a “friend” relationship on Facebook, I’m still available to anyone who wishes to communicate with me. You can contact me via the business page, or just shoot me an email. Some of you might be getting a Facebook message from Victoria (for me) in the event I don’t have your contact information, and I need to communicate with you.

One last thing. I did discover that Facebook is listening to conversations, and was picking up keywords in my seemingly private communications. Just a little too creepy for me.



800 Swingles off to City Harvest

Sometimes, you have to hit that reset button, identify and get rid of the problems that are hurting your brand. It isn’t enough to rest on your laurels alone. People who know Steve well know that he doesn’t cotton much to the court of public opinion (YELP) but when they’re right, they’re right.

We had to hit that reset button earlier this year, and as difficult as it was to throw away thousands of dollars in product, it was the right thing to do. The results have paid off. Read the review from Liz if you have a chance, it is very well thought out and an affirmation that the choice made was correct.

This is a Blahg Test

While we’re tweaking the new website, I need to test this “blahg” feature. I’m calling it a blahg because there’s a tendency for people to dribble-on with blah, blah, blah, and I will most likely be no exception. But I do have a thing or two to say about a thing or two. I will reserve my observations to my business and some of the challenges of running a business, the state of affairs in the key lime world, where “key lime” seems to be more of a style than an ingredient, and with the idea of authenticity and what that means to us. Hopefully, you’ll find something of interest or you’ll be entertained. Cheers…