Her Pontius Pie Plate has become popular.
Patty Kaik is in many ways your typical Crustian: flaky with a passion for cheeses. But her devotion to the cause makes even many of her peers sit up and take notice.
Ms. Kaik began her confectionery from home as a sideline about ten years ago for Yeaster. Her rosary-water delights and psalter-water taffy proved so popular that she began receiving orders almost immediately in anticipation of Crispmas. Winter would be mostly quiet, but business picked up again before Goody Friday. The business brought her a modest supplementary income, but for her, it remained a labor of love.
In the last two years, however, demand for Kaik’s unorthodox indulgences has soared, as has her selection of products. Her Pontius Pie Plate has become so popular, in fact, that she had to spin off its production into a separate facility and wash her hands of its daily oversight. Her motto, In God We Crust, has gained currency almost as quickly as money has changed hands in her temple of heavenly wafers.
Kaik now has separate stations for the cross buns, instead of just the single area of her kitchen that once housed the operation. She confesses, however, that she feels guilty for not spending more time trying to convert more recipes to her liking. She once considered that her mission, but the sheer mass of products to make rendered that avenue closed. Kaik says she still bears the wounds from spreading herself too thin when business began to boom; fortunately, she received some piercing insight from a dear friend. “He just nailed it,” she remarked.
Not every foray into new product lines finds favor in Kaik’s eyes; some items carry an unholy association with unpleasant connotations. “I would never make devil’s food cake, for example,” she observes. “Some products I will have muffin to do with on principle.” She also recalled an incident when she was invited to prepare a cake for the crispening of a friend’s baby, but resisted the temptation to go all out and produce an attention-grabbing, crullerful piece. “I was put in mind what one of the Fathers, Tartullian, said: thy good deeds shall announce themselves; thou needst not crumpet them, for that way lieth per-dishin.”
Competition remains fierce, chiefly from another local caterer, Pan Theist, with a clashing philosophy and eyes on the same market stigment. But Kaik is not worried: she has looked at her bottom line and seen it rise.
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