The Family Peddlers

Miss NiNi has been described as a peddler of sorts. I learned it from my dad. As a little child, when I accompanied him on his weekly city egg delivery route, virtues of honesty, integrity, and pride of ownership were instilled in my heart and mind.

Dad was a jolly friendly guy and took an interest in all people. But, he was especially respectful of those who eagerly spent hard-earned dollars for something he “grew” and gratifyingly sold.

This “leap of faith”–entrepreneurship in the family peddling or selling profession–began decades before either Dad or I was born, though.

To the best of my knowledge, the cornerstone of selling and entrepreneurship in our family was laid in the late 1880s when 19-year-old Jacob Brost (my great grandfather) emigrated from Russia to America with his mother and four siblings. Careful attention to detail while farming in South Dakota granted financial rewards that allowed a move to my alma-mater-state of North Dakota.

Jacob’s professional wardrobe modified with that move. Well-worn farm-work attire was exchanged for the garb of a general mercantile purveyor until retirement at the young age of 55.

In today’s modern world of research medicine, Miss NiNi is somewhat dumbfounded to know that Great Grandpa died of the hiccoughs. Yes, that’s right, Dear Readers! After having been overcome with “the grippe” for seven days, his heart stopped.

From his obituary comes these words, “He was a man in every sense of the word; an immigrant whose thrift and foresight made him one of the really great men of North Dakota.”

Self-motivated business ownership was the heart and soul of my great grandfather. Could it even have been a desire that his lighted torch of proprietorship luminate the path for succeeding familiar generations?

It was! With each prevailing generation whether in farming or other business, entrepreneurship has reigned.

And now–three lifetimes later—Jacob’s great-granddaughter—Yours Truly, Miss NiNi—has continued this legacy. Yes, dessert baking is my passion. But, it goes way beyond that! The peddler within my heart says, ‘Share with others the delicious products created by the work of your hands.’ So far, I have done that on a small scale.

The next stepping-out-into-the-deep in the architecture of business development looms just ahead as my family and I prepare to open Miss NiNi’s Desserterie in West Des Moines/Waukee. The doors will open in just a few short weeks.

Now, here’s the even greater news, Dear Readers! Another family generation of passionate business builders excitedly awaits the satisfaction of creating and growing a business!

As manager of our desserterie, Second-Born Dear Daughter has prepared for this peddling mission her entire life! Not only was she a Miss NiNi-trained dessert baker before she started kindergarten, but her collegiate career and post graduate business management training have given credence to this new professional role on the Miss NiNi team.

Second-Born Dear Daughter is a savvy business woman. Yet, she models her Grandpa Jack Pfeiffer’s tenderheartedness which is why folks are drawn to her! Each guest and each team member will feel loved and valued. All in all, those traits comprise a perfect recipe for a super-duper desserterie director. Wouldn’t you agree, Dear Readers?

Just as my Grandma Justina worked with her dad, Jacob, in his general mercantile, so will I have the distinct privilege of meshing a love of baking and merchandising with our daughter.

The story journeys forward as one generation learns from the next. Even our 8-year-old granddaughter, Little Missy, seems to show passion for traveling in this same environment. I can see it in her heart!

With the aid of each and every member of my family, Miss NiNi’s Desserterie is humbly ready to take a leap off of the precipice of adventure! What an awesome privilege to carry on the family legacy!

I invite you to join us in that adventure!

Miss NiNi

Left: My paternal grandparents, Charles and Justina Pfeiffer (daughter of Jacob Brost). Right: My father with his mother, Justina.

Left: My paternal grandparents, Charles and Justina Brost Pfeiffer. Right: My dad, Justus (Jack) Pfeiffer with his mother, Justina.