A Families Home at Peggy Jean’s Pies

Originally founded by Jeanne Plumley and her friend and business partner Peggy Day, Peggy Jean’s Pies spent a decade as a sweet spot in the Columbia community. Shortly after Peggy’s passing, the business closed and remained closed for another decade. After these year’s Jeanne and her daughter Rebecca Miller decided to refund the business in Columbia and have since grown the pie company to be larger than ever. 

As the mother-daughter pair continue to work maintaining and building the business, they are hoping to expand into a larger more open and accessible space for their team and their customers. The pair works constantly together and with Rebecca’s two children and husband, and keeps the baking tables lighthearted and full of constant jokes, stories and nagging. 

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’} Running a business as a mother-daughter pair, Jeanne and Rebecca move through the kitchen and around each other with ease. Working from separate work stations, crossing only between steps or in hunt of a new team, the two move throughout the space with necessary communication and extra jokes and questions flowing constantly.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’} Rebecca works through the list of pies to be made for the day with employee Emma Bannister. Bannister began working at the bakery around October 2018.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’} Jeanne’s favorite pie, pumpkin chiffon requires a two day, start-to-finish preparation and baking process. The extended process makes the pie a bit more complicated than others and because of this, Jeanne is the only one who is willing to take the extra time to make this specific pie.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’} While trying to determine which photo to post on Instagram about holiday specials, Rebecca and her daughter Elle laugh trying to explain a story to Jeanne. After choosing a photo and a caption finally, Rebecca handed the phone back to Elle and said, “You pick. Santa emoji. Christmas tree emoji. Jingle bell emoji… whatever emojis you want.”

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’} In celebration of the holidays, Jeanne and Rebecca decided to send out holiday cards to all of their favorite customers. The cards include a family photo with the three generations as headed by Jeanne, and a handwritten note on the back. Included is a gift card for a baby pie.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’} Telling old stories from years past or from just yesterday is a constant stream of discussion at Peggy Jean’s Pies. The pair reflects and laughs with employees about worst customers, best customers and every pie disaster in between.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’} Cramped and a bit crowded in the current space, Jeanne and Rebecca are hoping to move out of their current space and into a new larger, more open area. The new space would ideally offer a pie bar, where customers can purchase a slice of pie and talk to employees while they are working, a larger sales area and a larger kitchen. They received their first space bid in the final few days of November and are waiting for a few more before moving forward.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’} Watching the door in await for the arrival of Rebecca and her daughter Elle, Jeanne waits for them to come in from the car. Each day Rebecca picks up her daughter Elle from school and brings her back to the bakery for a few hours in the afternoon before they all head home. Usually, a bit of overlap falls during this time when Elle has arrived and before Jeanne leaves for home for the day.

For my final project, I ended up working with Rebecca and Jeanne over at Peggy Jean’s Pies. I wanted to focus specifically on the working relationship that the two have and how they interact with each other in the workspace and outside of it. Last minute changes and communications drops prevented the out of work shooting from occurring, and so unfortunately my project ended up being limited to their work space. To me the work is a bit repetitive and missing and an extra side of their relationship because of this that I would like to add in. Obviously my time limited it but I do appreciate that while the project was shot on three different days, the pieces fit together and don’t feel jarring and separated - absolutely because all shot in the same workspace, but a positive. Anyway, the story is below and captions are attached. 

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