It was a rainy afternoon sometime near the end of April (I can't recall exactly which rainy afternoon it was). My fellow bandmate Jon and I were feeling the hunger bug and thinking about where we should go for a remedy. In hindsight, we thought about it for an un-reasonable amount of time, but we ultimately decided to take a walk to Wood Fired Pies on Barrie's lakeshore. We both love some good Pizza, but we had never visited Pie. It was long overdue, and well worth it.
Just to fill everybody in, I work at Thain Creative and Pie has been one of our clients for years. I joined Thain Creative in the fall of 2013 and love pizza, but I had never eaten anything at Pie before. This was something I felt I had to do to complete the circle of a good client relationship. And Pizza.
Enter the Pie
Strolling past a massive pile of wood for their italian wood stove, we walk up to the entrance, peering into the windows to see the pies flying around. Walking towards our table, we notice a few different clocks on the wall, New York Stock Exchange style. There are clocks for Barrie, Sudbury, Wasaga Beach and a few others, but the curious thing is all of the clocks showed different time-zones. So as if we had entered another dimension where time-travel is possible, we get ourselves settled in and stare down at the tables with built-in menus.
We order some drinks, making sure to place them on the designated "place drink here" coasters built-in to the table. Before we know it, our server pops the question. "What can I get you today?".
Now, the most logical pizza to order would be a plain-jane pepperoni & cheese pie, the most revealing item I could order. I wanted to understand if Pie was really all it was cracked up to be. But the problem is I had to get bacon as well, because I believe in doing the right thing when the opportunity arises. We continue sipping our beverages and ensuring their firmly placed in the built-in table coasters, keeping an eye on the time-zone for Barrie. Well, that italian wood fired oven worked it's magic, and with a smile on his face, our server comes over and drops a steaming pie on the table in-front of me, and then Jon.
The first bite was like my first kiss. Sloppy, animalistic and something I'll remember forever. Our dialogue had been reduced to primal grunts and the occasional break for fluids. The crust and dough was the most memorable, full of flavour and crisp to perfection. You could taste the wood throughout the Pizza, and a few times we would smell it from the bacon. This was definitely some of the best pizza I had ever shoved into my face. We were overwhelmingly content with our decision to eat at Pie, but we both had made a fatal error.
Half way into both our Pizzas, we could both sense the impending food coma. Our concern grew as we started to slow down and were ultimately rendered unable to finish our last slices. As if someone lit the Bat Signal, our server comes over and asks us if we would like anything else. We regretfully had to decline offers for all sorts of treats, in fear of causing permanent damage. He re-assured us we could take a power nap in one of the booths to regain our strength, but after getting some to-go bags we eventually made it out the door.
Although full, I felt defeated. We both stumbled back to Jon's place, left-over Pizza in hand while still debating the reason for the multiple clocks on the wall at Pie. We eventually arrived home and slumped down on the couch. Though shortly after arriving, Jon's twin brother James enters the room and asks what we've been up to. We tell him all about the pizza and the clocks. Interrupting us, he asks "is that leftover pizza?". It was that moment when I realized the true joy of Pie.
Like seeing the silver lining in a cloud, I offered James the slice since I couldn't manage it. His face lit up with joy as he threw it on a plate and proceeded to mow down the cheesy, bacon smothered deliciousness. I was reminded that left-over pizza will always be the universal way to brighten someones day. I look over at Jon, half asleep and overwhelmed by food coma, propping himself up with a pillow. It was a rough afternoon for Jon, but he's fine now.
I guess the moral of the story is this. When you work in an industry like ours, you meet some really amazing people who run some great businesses. It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on, but you really need to take the time to experience what your clients have built. You can do much better work for your clients after entering their world, and more often than not, you'll be pleasantly surprised.