Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 25

Columbia shop makes pies like Grandma used to
by Paul Newton | pnewton@ruralmissouri.coop

The building had a residential oven and commercial sink.
The duo added a $50 used refrigerator.
The business grew through different locations in
he pie shop is a busy place. Pies and tarts are
Columbia, expanding services to include full breakfast,
loaded with filling. Not many shortcuts are taken
lunch and coffee menus. After a decade, Peggy's health
at this Columbia business, and that's on purpose.
was declining and Jeanne was overwhelmed caring for
Even though this sweet shop is right next door to a
both her friend and business. Rebecca had moved back to
major supermarket and one-half mile from a mega mart -
Columbia: "I didn't realize how tired she was, mentally and
both with in-house bakeries - that's not the competition
emotionally. She had to close the store. It was a surprise to
they worry about.
a lot of people."
"Our biggest competitor is everyone's mother and
Life moved on for the close-knit duo. Rebecca pracgrandmother," says co-owner Jeanne Plumley. "That's hard
ticed law and Jeanne moved to the Lake of the Ozarks. "We
to live up to their memories from when they were younger,
lived totally different, normal lives," the daughter says. "We
but they'll come in and tell us, 'You got it! I haven't had
laughed at Thanksgiving, asking her 'Aren't you glad
this pie since Grandma passed and you
you're not making 2,000 pies?' and just open another
made it just like she did.' "
bottle of wine."
Jeanne owns Peggy Jean's Pies with her
The two met once a week to hang out and tried
daughter, Rebecca Miller. The store, located
to come up with new inventions or adventures.
on the south side of Columbia, serves up 45
Rebecca starts, "We had more ideas," and Jeanne
varieties of fresh tarts and pies - sweet and
Columbia
finishes, "than Heinz had pickles." But pies
savory - all made fresh daily the old-fashdrew them back.
ioned way.
Again armed with more baking knowlThe store is the second iteration of Peggy
edge than capital, the Boone Electric CoopJean's Pies. In the early '90s, Jeanne was
erative members took to Kickstarter to raise
looking for a new occupational challenge. One
money to bring back Peggy Jean's. In 30 days,
night after a Mizzou football game, she made
they barely surpassed their $10,000 goal with an
a full dinner for her friend Peggy Day's family,
average donation of about $101. They were able to re-open
including a big apple pie. The pie was a hit; an idea was
in 2014 in honor of Peggy, who passed in 2005.
hatched.
"I always felt sick for our customers about how quickly
Their market research started and ended by picking up
we closed," Jeanne says. "When people came into the new
Columbia phone books, calling random numbers and askstore they'd ask, 'Is it really you? You didn't just sell the
ing if they'd buy homemade pies, if a store existed. They
name? Can I still get the same recipes, the same French
called until they had 100 responses. "It was super forward
Silk?' I just cried thinking about it."
thinking for the time we lived in then," says Rebecca.
The new Peggy Jean's serves the exact same pies -
With more baking knowledge than capital in 1994,
many derived from Jeanne's mother and grandmother -
Peggy Jean's opened "behind a gun and bait shop and a
alongside some of Jeanne's new creations. The base of the
used car lot, not even visible from the road," Jeanne says.

T

Left: Fresh blueberries are scooped into Peggy Jean's tart crusts. Right: Emma Bannister and Mason Raithel-Owens fill and top tarts for baking.
MARCH 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

March20_Slice of happiness 2.indd 2

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2/7/20 3:23 PM


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Rural Missouri - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 8
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Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 16
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Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 25
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Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover4
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