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Herndon's Mom's Apple Pie: How To Destroy A Great Company


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Herndon's Mom's Apple Pie: How To Destroy A Great Company

Joe H. | Nov 28, 2003 05:42 PM

For years I have stopped at Mom's Apple Pie the day before both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Formerly located in an industrial park in Herndon this storefront with the "factory" in back had the best apple pie I've ever had along with the best brownies and a whole bunch of other calorically intensive things that inspired rapture. On Wednesday, similar to the past eight or nine Wednesdays before Thanksgiving I drove to Herndon to make a serious caloric investment. I had called the day before to order their "butter crust apple pie" which is sold by special order only and sells for about $20. I was surprised when they said they didn't have it this year. They we only selling their regular $9 apple pie. Oh well. Anyway, when I tried to turn into the industrial park I noted the usual line of cars that I had saw on past Holidays backing onto Sunset Hills Road which runs by it. This year, however, there was no line out the door. In some years past there may have been 15 or 20 people lined up waiting to get in with another 25 or more clustered inside.

In fact there was no door. They were gone. The store that is. Vanished. And no forwarding address, no sign, nothing. People were walking around (I'm talking about 15 or 20 people not just one or two) knocking on doors, flagging down strangers, just trying to find out what had happened. Finally, someone, found out from an Indian delicatessen that they had moved to somewhere in Leesburg, about 15 or so miles away. But there was no address to drive to.

Unbelievable. A Northern Virginia tradition moves and doesn't leave a forwarding address. On top of that they don't move a mile or two nearby, they move FIFTEEN MILES AWAY.

I drove to Leesburg and drove around. Information (411) had given me their old address so all I could hope for was their "turning up" on a side street and my literally being able to sniff them out. Anyway, I found them. Their Leesburg spot is where the Mighty Midget Kitchen used to stand, they've taken over the former gas station next to it and converted it into a pie shop of sorts.

Of course they don't sell half of what they sold in Herndon. No butter crust apple pie, no meringue, no special cookies, they were even sold out of their brownies which I immodestly would describe as the most orgasmic bakery creation in the D. C. area.

They were also selling pies out of a truck. Out of a truck!!! (Whatever happened to the heavenly smell of a fresh apple pie coming hot out of an oven? Out of a truck?)

Apparently, they lost their lease in Herndon and found a "temporary location" of sorts in Leesburg (a LONG way away) and plan on moving back to Sterling (near Herndon and a long way from Leesburg) in January. But they don't know where.

People, I'm going to tell you but if there is a way to absolutely destroy a business that someone spent years building this is it. I find it absolutely unbelievable that one company (one person?) could do so many things wrong. I would bet that over the course of the day there were hundreds of people who went to their old store in Herndon, couldn't find them and forgot about them. They'll certainly never find them in Leesburg. Or Sterling.

In Leesburg, those who go there have no idea just how good this place can be. They're not doing special pies nor do they have the variety they did in Herndon. I'm sure they think it's really good. The best in Leesburg in fact. But once Mom's Apple Pie, especially their butter crust apple pie, was the best store bought America. Not just Leesburg.

I hope the owner reads this board. You've got the best product in the D. C. area. But someone needs to tell you how to run a business because you've lost an incredible number of customers that you've spent years building. A little bit on consideration and thought on your part (and some basic business sense !!!??!!!)would have found people following you to Leesburg (why Leesburg by the way-it's a LONG way from the Reston/Herndon line????). Of course they would have assumed that you would have sold the same things you sold In Herndon.

Anyway, on Christmas I'm going to bake my own.

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