Six years ago, our son brought a Noble Pie to his friend’s house. He told us that his friend's mom went crazy over it. She told him she would contact me about putting our pies on the QVC shopping channel, where she worked. Soon after she did contact me and insisted that we needed to get our pies on QVC. She she gave me a contact, a gentleman named Jonathan. Around the same time Jonathan went to his brother’s house for a BBQ and there were several Noble Pies there for dessert, he loved them. It turned out that Jonathan is a representative to QVC.
The coincidences didn't stop there. Our friend Karl is a professional drummer. A few years ago, he performed regularly at a jazz club in New Jersey and became friends with a guy who loved the music and frequently came to hear him, his name was Daniel. Karl brought him some of our pies and he loved them. It turned out that Daniel was the founder of a meatball company, and sells his meatballs on QVC! Daniel’s representative was the same, Jonathan!
As a result of this series of events, Jonathan did come to see us...several times. He loved our pies and thought they were perfect for QVC. We didn’t feel ready to take on such a huge commitment. We were still just a mom and pop operation and we knew we couldn't handle the thousands of pies required in our little pie shop. The idea of trying to find a co- packer (a company large enough to make the number of pies required) was daunting too. We didn't know anything about co-packers or where to find one. Lucky for us Jonathan did not give up. In January of 2019 he asked if he could see us and this time, he had a co- packer in mind. We talked about what we should sell on QVC. Jonathan thought our Chicken Pot Pie should be our first offering, and off we went to meet with the co-packer.
They were a family owned business like ours and we felt that we could work well together. We gave them our recipe, and they worked on scaling it up to make 2,000 pies. They sent us samples and we got back to them to tweak this and that over a few months. Once we had a pie that was just like the ones that we make in our store, off we went to QVC. That visit was in May 2019.
I will never forget that first visit to QVC in Chester, PA. Once we went through security we drove down the long drive and then saw the huge QVC sign. I had to pinch myself. We waited in the huge and beautiful lobby waiting to be seen by the buyers. When it was our turn we went to a small meeting room and met with the buyers, Jonathan and his staff. We served our Chicken Pot Pie and after the first bites and the resulting smiles we knew we were in.
We were warned that once QVC was ready to have us on it was going to be like a locomotive coming at us. It was! Once we had the thousands of pie crusts made, we went to our co- packer just two weeks before we were due to go on. We worked with the chef and made one thousand pounds of chicken pot pie filling and assembled 2,000 pies. The pies were ready.
We had decided that I would be the one to go on air. The week before I was due to go on, I headed to QVC for training and potential certification. It was an excellent crash course on understanding the QVC way of selling the features and benefits of our product. I learned how to present on national TV. At the end of the day I passed and got my certification. It was feeling real.
Less than a week later the big day arrived. I got there early for hair and makeup touch ups and then the waiting began. During those 4 hours, I met with my host Alberti Popaj who was friendly, charming and welcoming. Out of the 18 vendors in our Holiday Showcase segment, we were number 17. We watched from the green room as each vendor presented. I was the only new vendor so it was just a bit intimidating! At last it was time to get mic'd up and get out onto the set. There was our Chicken Pot Pie table where Alberti and I would be presenting! It looked beautiful. There was Alberti, now a familiar face! My 9 minutes of fame had begun. The excitement was exhilarating. Racing through my mind were the 4 years of contemplating whether we should go on, then making the decision to go on, the months of preparation, the weeks of rolling dough, and it all boiled down to 9 minutes. I was numb when I walked off that set. It was absolutely overwhelming.
What happened in the next few weeks we did not anticipate. Customers and people who had never been in our bakery came in to rave about our appearance on QVC. The phone began ringing with calls from people all over the US who wanted to talk to me personally and compliment us on our Chicken Pot Pie. There was an instant connection with the callers. What seemed like a huge market with no connection to the customer now became smaller with a personal connection. Not only did the callers want to talk about the pie, they wanted to share where they lived, tell about their families and how they could relate to our “mom and pop” business. Each pie comes with a product information sheet that also includes a brief bio about our company. This I realized is the magic of QVC.
All of the years of extreme hard work got us here. Failing has never been an option. With a family of three to raise we had to survive. We have poured our hearts into every recipe, every pie. Almost every kind of pie has a story. And now I am remembering that first pie I made on my own at the age of 10. It was a cherry pie and I hand painted a patchwork quilt on top, little did I know.
Next week my story continues as our son Zachary goes on QVC and our business explodes!