Carrying On


Pinterest is full of inspirational quotes like,

Let Go of the Past
And Embrace the Future

Unbearably cheesy, I know.

But also fairly good advice.

Since coming back to work, I have felt really optimistic about things and I’m excited about some changes we are making, like a cool permanently contact-less pick up approach and enhanced delivery services.

It would be hard to be happy about these things if my focus was on going from five stores to two, and the sharply reduced revenue. But eventually it has sunk in that, well, this is the reality and given that we are in the middle of a pandemic, we are selling a lot of cupcakes, we have a fantastic team, and tomorrow we are getting ice cream from Bang Bang on Ossington Street (it’s the small things in life…).

In placing their advance orders for pick up or delivery, our customers have been really creative, like selecting individual boxes, or using several boxes that hold 6 minis instead of one box that holds 24 minis. We’re assuming these are for a variety of special events all with social distancing top of mind.

Continuing with the optimistic theme, the government has stepped up for small business, in my view. With our landlords able to access a rent subsidy, and us able to apply for a wage subsidy, it really makes all the difference in terms of these tentative early months when we are still a ways from profitability. We have a cushion to at least test the waters and see if there is a way to go forward, even in the face of great uncertainty.

I am just the worst at managing through ambiguity. I’ve always wanted to know what will happen, what’s being planned. I’ve thought with enough work and planning, I could be confident about the future.

I’m not being sarcastic when I say that I have improved considerably. It has taken me most of the last 4 months to let go of believing that eventually the future will be clear. Now I’ve accepted that it is going to be a long, slow road back from this pandemic and the only way to stay sane is to become more chill.

About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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