How Pennies made it to the 2024 U.S. Open

How Pennies made it to the 2024 U.S. Open

If you're heading to the 2024 U.S. Open in Pinehurst, NC, make sure to find Piedmont Pennies, one of forty NC specialty food vendors chosen for the tournament.

 

Here's how it happened... 

 

October 2023 - The North Carolina Specialty Foods Association (NCSFA) on behalf of Ridgewell's Catering for the 2024 U.S. Open.

Ridgewell's Catering, a gourmet corporate catering company in Bethesda, MD, won the U.S. Open hospitality contract (again!) for the upcoming tournament. Ridgewell's needed local, specialty food vendors to present in hospitality tents, so they asked NCSFA to help spread the word. 

I read the email and was certain we'd shoot our shot, but was also sweating nervous... Would they see the value in Pennies? Like the taste? Appreciate the packaging? Could we bake enough?

It was worth a shot...

November 2023 - After five days at the Richmond Junior League's Holiday Bizarre Bazaar shopping spree, I drove down solo to Pinehurst. Exhausted but excited, I had plenty of samples and my display in tow. 

Beautiful weather greeted me at Pinehurst No. 9 for the sampling day. It felt weird being in Pinehurst without my husband, Coble, the golf lover of the family (who'd move there in a heart beat if given the chance).

I hate that anxious feeling before events. Everyone is out of sorts, nervous, and frantic. I took it easy, set up quickly, and then helped others set up.

That's something that comes naturally, easing others nerves through getting my hands dirty and helping, as well as chatting their ears off with friendly conversation (I'd like to think I learned it from my Dad).

Once set up, I took a breath, this is it... This could be HUGE. I got my friend (Ruth from Mrs. Ruth's jams) to snap a quick picture for memories.

The Ridgewell's team greeted the vendors and began making their rounds. Game time.

I couldn't help but notice one of the women. She came in with such confidence, jumping from table to table, "What do you have? What's the story? Nah, I bet it's good, we'll be in touch."

It was Ridgewell's Principal and CEO, Susan Lacz. She meant business. And I liked her already...

As they approached my table, I took a big breath.

This is it, I thought to myself. Just be yourself. You have a great product.

"What do you have here?" Susan asked inquisitively. 

"These are Piedmont Pennies, bite-sized cheesy biscuit bites of heaven based on my Grandbetty's recipe... Would you like to try?"

She declined, but her colleague took several grinning with delight.

"Yum! Wow!" She exclaimed.

"Good, huh?" Susan asked, scanning the table. "They look delicious and I love the packaging. The white and gold is great. We'll take them. We will be in touch!"

They walked away quickly to the next table.

 

What did she say? I couldn't think straight. Did she just accept us? Are Pennies... A family recipe...My MBA project... A dream just three years ago... Are Pennies going to be at the U.S. Open?!

I packed up the display, smiling from ear to ear. WE DID IT! WE CAN DO HARD THINGS! WE PUT OURSELVES OUT THERE AND HOPED FOR THE BEST, AND IT HAPPENED!

 

Months later, a few shipped samples and signed papers, BOOM! PO in hand, and a delivery made. Check out this video to see the behind-the-scenes delivery day. 

 

If you're heading to the U.S. Open Gold Tournament, find Pennies in the hospitality booths and tag us. Or, snack on your own personal pouch ahead of the tournament. We're shipping next day at piedmontpennies.com.

 

Another exciting journey given by God. As always, thanks for following along and for being a Penny Pal.

 

Stay Cheesin!

Becca

 

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