I had a hankering for a warm piece of corn bread with honeybutter, a fresh navajo taco and a piece of pie to top it off. The hankering made me think of one restaurant: Frontier Pies. I went to the closest one I knew of and discovered it had closed. No fear I thought, there was another one not too far away that would have the same rustic atmosphere and good food. However, after driving across town, I found the second location in the same dark and dismal state as the first and my hankering remained unappeased.
I checked online to find out what happened and had a spooky feeling of synchronicity. On New Year’s Day, the day I had craved a meal at Frontier Pies, an article at the Salt Lake Tribune was published explaining that Frontier Pies had closed. The owners weren’t able to compete with the new restaurant chains that had opened in recent years and were forced to close.
Kelly Christensen, part-owner of the seven Frontier Pie restaurants in Utah, is writing a book about his experience managing the restaurants. “It’s for people who are thinking of going into business,” he said. “There’s not a school that could teach what we went through.”
I’m sure he learned a lot from the experience, but the end result was that his businesses shut down. I would rather read a book written by someone who was able to keep the business thriving. Then again, learning from the mistakes of others can be a good way to keep from making those mistakes yourself.