Q and A: Amy Pike at A Perfect Pantry
June 5, 2012
Amy Pike brings an eternal cheerfulness to A Perfect Pantry, 21 East Congress, which she opened on February 21. She created a vast emporium split into three sections. Up front are cards and small gifts, a few steps farther in you find a variety of kitchen implements. The middle section has snacks and drinks. In back, you come upon an antique furniture showroom. Pike aims to supply customers with everything they might need to “maintain a very interesting lifestyle.” Pike has a smaller shop at Rincon Market.
Q: What do people like about your store?
Pike: They like how unique it is, the variety of an old 5&10. “Oh, you have this and you have this.” It’s gotta be fun. You have to take the mundane out of every day.
Q: A Perfect Pantry seems to reflect a bit of the past, like a general store. What era is your store representing most?
Pike: It’s a timeless era. It’s an eclectic mix of today and yesterday.
Q: You put great thought behind every item at A Perfect Pantry.
Pike: It’s just life experience and taking everything I learned what I want in my neighborhood. It’s what you need every day to take care of friends, family and yourself. I seek out local artists. I’m a bit fussy. I go to small trade shows. I go out of my way to go to small trade shows.
Q: You mix antiques with kitchen items.
Pike: It’s home and life. It’s life.
Q: You have streetcar construction right outside your door.
Pike: The effect we felt the instant when the first shovel went into the ground. But people started coming out. People are making a point to come in here. They are saying: “We don’t want you to go away.
Q: “Sorry, we’re open,” is a clever sign you have.
Pike: Just a little tongue in cheek. You gotta have a sense of humor.
Q: How did you get into this trade?
Pike: I have a retail background. I had a little store in the Bay Area, in Pleasanton. I had specialty stores and did many things with Macy’s.
Q: What do you like so far about having a store Downtown?
Pike: Everything. It’s fun. The people are fabulous.
Q: Are you still at Rincon Market?
Pike: Yes. It’s housewares.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re away from the store?
Pike: Get ready for the next day. This is my hobby.
Q: Where do you like to eat Downtown?
Pike: For dinner, I love to go to 47 Scott. For lunch, we go to Jimmy John’s and Baggin’s. We try to spread ourselves around.
Q: What would make Downtown a better place?
Pike: A variety of businesses, pretty streets and seeing people walk up and down the street shopping for all kinds of stuff.
Q: How many people come to Perfect Pantry during 2nd Saturdays?
Pike: For the first one, I had 60 people continually in the store for five hours. After construction started, it dropped to about half.
Q: What are your favorite Downtown events?
Pike: 2nd Saturdays and the Downtown Antique Fair.
Q: How long have you lived in Tucson?
Pike: Almost five years. I came from San Francisco. That was good then. This is great now.
Q: What future do you see with the streetcar?
Pike: Are you kidding me? It’s going to be phenomenal It’s gonna bring a lot of people Downtown.
Q: What impact do you see student housing having?
Pike: Filling up the streetcar and bringing their wealthy parents to town. There should be a lot more apartment buildings, condos and more upscale people living Downtown.