Jean Blacklock

reflections on being an entrepreneur

Latest stories

Sticky

Some time back, I was having one of those weeks when nothing seemed to be going right. The best thing to do then, in my experience, is to bake. And for a really therapeutic baking experience, the best thing to bake is sticky buns, mostly because sticky buns are the absolutely best baked good in the world, plus it is hard to find a good sticky bun, and lastly, there is something about the kneading...

Lucky Duck

I have been eating a lot of baked goods lately. This is not a hardship, but still, I maybe need to rein it in. For one thing I am now on V5 of the products I am planning to launch and so I have analyzed and eaten my way through all those iterations. But also over the last few months as the weather has warmed up and the pandemic has wound down, I have discovered that Toronto has added some really...

Chapter Closed

I’ve been really busy. Just this past weekend, I wrote Level 1 of the Chartered Financial Analyst exam and Level 4 of the Environmental, Social and Governance Investing Certificate. Pretty freaking amazing. Of course I did not. Our son, Ted, wrote Level 1 of the CFA and Andrew nailed the ESG exam, so given our limited social lives still, I feel like I did these things too. These are brutally...

The outside looking in

It’s already been four months since PGB closed. Being away from the foodservice business has frankly been a relief.  Those businesses that are continuing to survive and even thrive…wow, I mean, it is really impressive. During this time away from being in the business directly, it has been interesting to watch what is happening in the industry and the trends. Here are some of my observations: No...

An Easier Answer

In my last post I mentioned a few of the things I learned owning Prairie Girl Bakery. But if I do in fact plan to make use of that knowledge, I need to write the qualitative part of a business plan. Based on what I have learned about the foodservice business, I’ve cobbled together a quantitative forecast for a new business. Now I need to write it out, to add all the details of what, when...

Déjà vu

Feels a bit like 2009.  I had just left my job at a big bank, got married, and was trying to find myself. Now I have wound up my business, would marry my husband again in a heartbeat, and am trying to find myself. In 2009, I did all sorts of things to convince myself to do the smart thing, career-wise, something like going back to law, becoming a mediator or taking a job at another bank. But I...

magical moments

I was carrying a lit Muskoka Candle Company candle from one part of the house to another yesterday and a memory popped into my mind: Christmas Eve service as a kid at the part when everyone in the church holds a lit candle – the plain, white kind that churches buy in bulk – and the lights are turned off. It may have been one of my favorite times at Christmas, a moment of collective peace before...

What will you let go?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the sunk cost fallacy. We succumb to it any time we eat more than we want at a fancy Sunday brunch buffet or hold onto a lime green sweater that we don’t wear. At $60 per person, darn it, we are going to have an extra helping of Eggs Benedict and two of the chocolate mousse. That trendy sweater is cashmere so it stays in our closet because, well, we paid a lot...

Constraint

I dressed up yesterday: make-up, a dress, heels, the whole 9 yards. I had nowhere to go, not even video meetings. But I was feeling grumpy and I’m up for anything that may move me from thoughts like, “Maybe this will go on forever” to ones of optimism, even gratitude for this time to retrench. And yet, it wouldn’t be fair to write a blog a month after closing my business in a pandemic and imply...

Hearts & Turtles

On Monday, January 6th, 2020, Carly and I met with the following people at our FCP store: · Lucie Bisson from Brookfield Properties · the person responsible for renovation projects at Brookfield whose name I forget now, · Mary Bannet, our designer, · Rob from Bootstrap Contracting that had built out one of the two new stores we opened in 2019, and · PGB’s Head Baker, Andrea Ascione. We stayed...

Subscribe

To receive email notifications of new blog posts, please subscribe below.

Categories

Tags

Hello, You!

I’m so glad you are here.

Sign up to receive my posts and you will never miss one. (and by the way - absolutely no other marketing-type emails will be sent your way!)

- Jean