Jean Blacklock

reflections on being an entrepreneur

Latest stories

Digital advertising

This week in my continuing review of PGB’s changes over the last year I will look at our launch of advertising online. The big picture: digital ads work. Christina, our website and ad manager, often describes ads on Google as the “yellow pages” and ads on Facebook/Instagram as “billboards”. Both types of digital ads work well to increase sales and are fairly cost effective. Having spent ad...

Risky Business

Which of these things increase revenue: opening new stores, recruiting new people, investing in edible printers, creating more appealing boxes and bags, upgrading the online system, or leasing a management office? My answer: all these expenses lead to more revenue. But the last item – leasing a management office – was challenging to wrap my mind around. Whereas the other items are...

Evolving Designer Cakes

In my last post, I listed our 2018-19 changes and promised some detail to come. Here we are at the first one: the revamp of our Designer Cake menu. When we opened in 2011, we only sold cupcakes and I was – in retrospect – annoying on the  topic. People constantly asked for cakes and my answer as the then-catering and customer service manager was that we focused on cupcakes so as to...

The Year of Change

As we head into the  last couple months of 2019,  I’m going to share my thoughts on the changes we’ve made at PGB since October 2018, taking each one at a time. In today’s post I will just list the changes and  then will use today’s post as my outline for the remainder of the year. I will share  how the changes went, which projects went better than others and the...

Vegan, Gluten free & Nut free….PGB Snackin’ Cake

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned we have a booth at the Grocery Innovation Congress on October 22-23 and that we had a lot of work to do in the meantime. Last week, we met with Mark Terrell who consults in the grocery industry and he was a big help in giving us a clear roadmap to prepare for the show, including samples of appropriate fact sheets and signage and how best to arrange the booth...

Writing A Book

I’ve decided to write a book about changing jobs and the personal impact of career transitions. Its outline is still a little vague but I have met a really great writing coach and I am excited about working with Barbara. In thinking about it, I’ve reflected on what is the same and different among the things I’ve done work-wise. Many of the differences are apparent: different...

And now for something entirely different

Andrew has an encyclopedic knowledge of Seinfeld episodes. He tells me that George in Seinfeld once hatched a plan to do the opposite of whatever he’d usually do: his life was going so badly, why not do the opposite and see what happened? Things went really well for George for awhile under this brilliant approach. I thought of George and his do-opposite idea yesterday. We have a booth at...

What’s Different Now?

I was interviewed on Tuesday by the City Allergy Guide about our quite-new nut free status and also by the marketing agency for Brookfield Place about, well, our new store in Brookfield Place. I noticed they both asked, “What’s different now than when Prairie Girl opened in 2011?”. By a mile, my answer is “adoption of online ordering”. We had a good custom shopping...

Tomato Soup Cake

A line in a podcast caught my attention recently: “I’m working hard to create a business that is simple and scale-able”. That is such an important concept and it doesn’t get a lot of airtime. Mcdonalds, Subway, a housecleaning service, an oil change business, Girl Guide troops selling boxed cookies. These are simple – not easy, I’m sure, but simple in concept – and thus they’ve been...

Tired

This time last year we were three stores and now we are five. And we are gearing up to have a booth at the Grocery Innovation Congress for a not-yet-developed 6-pack of frozen gluten free, vegan and nut free mini cupcakes. I am tired. Not physically tired as I write this but mentally tired. The team is tired in the same way. They don’t say so – but I know they are ready for a period of time when...

Subscribe

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

Categories

Tags