How The Pie Hole Got a Larger Slice of the Market

Fresh-baked pie shop increased sales by 1,200% in just 30 days with the help of a Fundbox line of credit

Sean Brennan, owner of the Pie Hole specialty pie company talks about Fundbox credit.
CHALLENGE

A successful LA-area specialty pie shop wanted to invest in an e-commerce solution to help them expand nationally and meet wholesale and restaurant demands.

SOLUTION

Turned to a Fundbox line of credit for the short-term capital needed to hire developers, build technology infrastructure and create packaging.

RESULTS

Once online, the business increased sales 12 times in just 30 days and is now growing nationally with new wholesale and direct-to-consumer partners.



A Los Angeles based fresh-baked pie shop, The Pie Hole expanded from selling direct-to-consumers to also serving restaurants, caterers, grocers, and other distribution channels. It’s a very competitive business. Trying to make the leap into e-commerce and wholesale—especially while fulfilling traditional orders—placed a huge demand on their financial resources. So they turned to a line of credit from Fundbox. With help from investments they made using this funding, The Pie Hole increased sales by 1,200% in just 30 days.

Company

Founded in 2011, The Pie Hole began simply as a modern American pie shop, selling fresh-baked pies made from scratch using generations-old recipes. When co-founder Sean Brennan discovered how the joy of sharing pie made so many people happy, “We couldn’t pass up expanding.”

"Our mission is happiness, one slice at a time."
Sean Brennan, co-founder, The Pie Hole

This desire to grow led to adding innovative offerings including new recipes, meat pies, and an exclusive line of fair-trade organic coffees. They also began selling to restaurants, catering companies, and grocers. In addition to opening multiple locations in the LA area—and two in Tokyo, Japan—The Pie Hole even offers franchising opportunities.

Key Takeaways
  • Specialty pie shop founded in 2011 in Los Angeles, CA

  • Added new offerings to menu including exclusive coffees

  • Expanded to multiple locations, including franchises

Challenge

Growth is a key driver for The Pie Hole. “You always have to be looking for new revenue centers,” Sean says. "It's a very hostile marketplace."3 Realizing the need to improve the company's nationwide wholesale and direct-to-consumer business, Sean became committed to establishing an e-commerce presence.

"When you have a small-medium sized company, you can't just reallocate resources. We've always had to say no."
Sean Brennan, co-founder, The Pie Hole

However, the technology, labor, and infrastructure required to establish an effective online sales presence takes money, and sometimes that money's already tied up doing other necessary things for the business.

Key Takeaways
  • Competitive marketplace demanded fast growth

  • Wanted to develop e-commerce for wholesale and direct

  • Cash flow prevented company from meeting online demand

Solution

To provide the short-term working capital to develop an e-commerce platform for The Pie Hole, Sean contacted Fundbox to establish a business line of credit. Unlike banks that can take weeks for a credit decision, Fundbox was able to deliver an answer in minutes, and funds were available the next business day.

"Fundbox was there to help out. For our e-commerce program, we invested in packaging, we invested in people, we invested in online infrastructure."
Sean Brennan, co-founder, The Pie Hole

The Pie Hole put their funds right to work to accomplish the tasks needed to bring their e-commerce plans to fruition. This included hiring web designers, purchasing needed computer equipment, and even creating new, branded packaging for shipping their fresh pies to wholesalers and online consumers.

Key Takeaways
  • The Pie Hole applied online for a business line of credit through Fundbox

  • Fundbox approved them in minutes and made funds available the next day

  • The Pie Hole invested this capital in packaging, website, and other needs

Results

Upon launching their new web store, created with the help of credit from Fundbox, The Pie Hole started to see their business grow exponentially within days. Sean boasts, “Our sales increased 12 times in 30 days just with that funding.”

The cash provided by Fundbox helped The Pie Hole accomplish their strategic goals, without jeopardizing their ability to serve their existing clients and continue to fulfill large orders, corporate parties, and weddings. Now that their e-commerce dreams are a reality, what really excites Sean is the opportunity to grow not just locally, but nationally—with their wholesale and direct-to-consumer partners.

“With Fundbox, that's going to be a reality very soon. We were ready to say yes to our national wholesale and direct-to-consumer program. We were able to quickly fund it, launch quickly and couldn't have done it any other way.”
Sean Brennan, co-founder, The Pie Hole

Key Takeaways
  • The Pie Hole sales increased 12 times in 30 days.3

  • E-commerce development did not interfere with existing operations.

  • Now growing nationally with wholesale and direct-to-consumer partners.

  • Learn how Fundbox credit can help your business grow

Are you ready to grow but need quick access to the short-term funding to accomplish your goals? Look into a line of credit from Fundbox.

Registering is fast and free.

Get a credit decision with no obligation. Applying will not affect your credit score.


Sources:
  1. Meet Sean Brennan of The Pie Hole, (VoyageLA.com, June 19, 2018).

  2. The Pie Hole, (Fransmart.com, accessed February 13, 2020).

  3. Sean Brennan, Fundbox line of credit customer Pie Hole, (Fundbox YouTube, January 21, 2020).

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