Ah... so you don't sell odd shaped pancakes then?
Er, no. No we don't. Surprisingly, it's not a question I get from many customers. It's usually quite clear to those visiting our site that we don't actually sell pancakes at The Curious Pancake. Just hundreds of illustrated greetings cards and assorted stationery goodies. So why the name?
It's all in the name, right?
When I was contemplating a name for my business I read no end of articles that told me that the business name should reflect the product I was selling. Which was a really creativity-destroying thing to read. I mean, how do you make 'greetings cards' in any business name sound cool or exciting?! Thankfully this archaic advice, based on some now defunct SEO 'logic' no doubt, seems to have fallen out of favour, and articles on start-up business names generally give much more sound advice these days. Not that I listened back in 2011 anyway! Although the online card companies that I had already heard of, such as Moonpig and Funky Pigeon, were not the business models I was looking to emulate, I knew from their success that the public was generally open to weird sounding names, especially so from arty farty, creative types!
To say all the products that I had curated for the store's opening day nearly 6 years ago were on the "quirky side" was probably an understatement! Taking this as my base, I began playing around with words like "quirky", "curious", "odd", "strange" and so on. I really loved the phrase "down the rabbit hole" from Alice in Wonderland, but thought it was a little too whimsical at the time (and would you believe, the domain name had been snapped up anyway!). Around the time that I was searching for the right name, I was reading a book entitled The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (pseudonym of author Brian O'Nolan). It is a bizarre little tale that definitely defies a pithy synopsis, suffice it to say that if you like meandering stories, bizarre characters and not knowing what the flip is going on, it could well be for you! It was also alluded to in the hit series Lost, if that piques your interest further, and is about twice as convoluted as a typical Lost episode!
Anyhoo, the titular character of the book has quote flowery phraseology, and uses the word 'pancake' several times to describe various objects/feelings throughout the book. As such, we have phrases like "an inexorable pancake" "a contrary pancake" a "difficult pancake" and, my favourite "a most curious pancake". And there was my Eureka moment! The quirky curiousness of the things I was intending to fill the store with really seemed to fit the phrase "a most curious pancake" and thus we were born! In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that pancakes are also my number one favourite round food (perhaps joint favourite with pizza!).
That's our business name story in a nutshell! What's the weirdest business name you've ever heard of? Perhaps you have a business name that took a lot of thinking about, I'd be interested to hear your story!
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Illustrated by a-sidestudio.co.uk - with thanks to Miracle Theatre