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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...

The Best Pecan Pie Recipe

It has been a long time since my last post and I was on a good track of writing weekly. The problem has been this: I haven’t had anything new to tell you that you don’t already know. In a pandemic, to read the news is to update ourselves on all of our friends, relatives, businesses and countries. Here’s that worldwide news, in case you haven’t heard: We are in some variation of a thing called a...

Chocolate Caramel Torte

We had a good Halloween week at PGB. Halloween has always been a fairly busy holiday for us – lots of parties and so on- but with the pandemic, all bets are off with any kind of historical data. But, come October 31st, people managed to creatively and safely gather to celebrate Halloween with cake and cupcakes and so our advance orders and walk in sales were a nice surprise. But overall, as the...

Election 2020

Four years ago, I wrote about how I was spending an embarrassing amount of time watching news about the American Presidential election. I have apparently made very little progress in my life as now four years later I am doing the same thing. Last time they had an election in the States, the host of one of Toronto’s big parties ordered dozens of cupcakes with custom sugar toppers, half with...

Icing: eat it with a spoon

For a full year from around August 2009 to the fall of 2010, I made a lot of cupcakes and a lot of icing. I’d go to the store and buy 4 pounds of butter at a time because good icing needs a lot of butter. I also bought a lot of cookbooks because although I had baked cupcakes and made icings for years, it is one thing to whip up a batch for family and friends, and another to sell them. Creating...

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