What is it about pie that makes us smile and want more? “It’s nostalgic,” says Mims Bledsoe. “It’s something that people associate with their childhood or with growing up. Everybody has a story when it comes to pie.”
Bledsoe should know. She’s built a thriving business completely devoted to pie and appropriately named Pie Shop. Step inside Pie Shop and you’ll find a quaint little bakery that makes you feel like sitting a while and enjoying a slice, maybe with a cup of coffee. But look beyond the cozy front counter and you’ll see a full team hard at work, taking orders over the phone and preparing each signature pie by hand. Sweet pies – from fruit pies to cream pies to lemon chiffon. And savory pies – from chicken pot pie to a selection of quiche. Over the last four years, Pie Shop has built a devoted following and is now preparing to open its second location.
From Day One, Bledsoe knew she needed a reliable phone system to support her business. “We have a high-end consumable product, so people want to know exactly what they’re getting,” she says. “So they seek information over the phone before they come into the shop.” Indeed, during our recent visit, there was never a moment when an employee wasn’t on the phone taking an order. So, why did Pie Shop go with a business VoIP phone system?
“I originally selected Vonage’s voice over IP system because I found it more affordable and flexible,” she continues. “I was even able to set up the system before I had my brick and mortar location – so when I moved into the space I just converted my number over. There’s a lot of flexibility with business VoIP that you wouldn’t get with a traditional phone line.”
She opened with just a desk phone but quickly added extensions and cordless IP phones to be able to multi-task and keep up with call volume. Especially during a busy season like Thanksgiving – when the shop takes orders for as many as a thousand pies a week – the phone system is critical to success.
The business utilizes numerous business phone system features every day, and Bledsoe particularly likes being able call from her home office and have it register on the recipient’s caller ID as a call from the shop (the “Work from Anywhere” feature). She also regularly logs in remotely to the Admin Portal to easily adjust voicemail messages to suit any occasion or season.
“I think technology is generally moving toward the cloud, which basically means being able to access it from anywhere,” she notes. “You don’t have to be sitting at your office desk. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can connect to the things you use most … so putting your phone system on the cloud makes just as much sense as having email.”
“I’ve never experienced any outages or any reason to be concerned about our voice over IP system. It’s always been just as clear as a traditional phone line.”
Many, many pies and many happy customers later, Pie Shop is set to open its second location. “It’s very exciting to grow,” Bledsoe reflects, “because it means you’re giving people something they want. It’s a sign that you’re doing what you ought to be doing if people are asking for more of it.”
“Our intention is to open multiple locations and Vonage is helping us with that by extending our current phone system,” she continues. “For our second location, we can essentially add phone numbers and still manage them within the same online portal the moment we’re ready to open. We haven’t even opened the new location yet, but we already have a new phone number that we can put on the website and offer in a press release. People can call the number for the new location and it just rings into our current location because of the way the Vonage system works.”
“It’s definitely a really good feeling to be able to grow and be able to bring more pie to more people.”
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