CategoryStrategy and growth

Hello Landlord

Years ago when Andrew ran the private bank across Canada, he was interviewed by The Globe and Mail about wealth services. Andrew is well-trained in media interviews and that day, one key message was that the economy was buoyant and business was good. The day of the article, we looked at The Globe to see where in the business section it was buried, only to have our mouths drop open. Above the...

Unknown Territory

We opened online orders on June 1st with the first delivery and pick up orders on June 8th. Since then it has been interesting to begin the shift from transforming the business to actually running it. Our fiscal yearend is June 30th. Entering March, we were only 4 months from year end and everything was on track for a good year. But then of course, since March 16th, we had no revenue until June...

The Ugh of Saying No

For the first few days of business back in 2011, customers would call us and say, “I’m on my way! Save me a dozen Red Velvets!”, and the catering manager (me) would dash from my desk in the middle of the kitchen to the front of the store and dutifully box up a dozen Red Velvets. I think it was Day 4 when Andrea looked at me and said, “You have to quit doing that, Jean, it doesn’t make sense to...

Becoming nut free

Changing to a nut-free bakery in 2019 deserves a 10/10 rating, but like many worthwhile projects in life, it was a lotta work especially as we were doing it at the same time as building our Woodbine store (we wanted to open that store without ever having had nuts in it). The hardest part was finding all the supplies. They must of course have a nut-free ingredient list but also cannot contain a...

The latest on Snackin’ Cakes (TM!)

I’m really excited about our Snackin’ Cakes project! Let’s start with the name: Snackin’ Cakes was a registered trademark of Betty Crocker/General Mills until 2018 – they gave it up just in time for us to register it.  Yes! I think it will be a perfect name for these cute little cakes. Taste-wise, the feedback we received at the Grocery Innovation Congress was really...

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...

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...

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