Lately I have been reminded of the year before I opened the business when planning, opening and having a business was 100% “all new” and every decision was bewildering and mine to make. Would I use orange and yellow as the theme colours – sort of “Prairie” like, yes? – or something more “modern”? More modern – lime, purple, deep pink. Would I go with brown bakery boxes or pink ones? Brown – there’s a limit to how much pink should be associated with cupcakes. Should the store  be downtown or in a neighbourhood? Downtown  – oh, and THANK GOD for that decision. And so on and so forth.

The reason why I am reminded now of 2010 is that after a few years of kind of knowing what I am doing, this franchising thing is a new cat altogether and I am feeling my way with quite a bit of uncertainty. I’ve had several conversations with people in the business of finding franchisees which quite frankly left me dejected. I shared with them my plan to find franchisees who love home baking as much as I do and have been told that this perspective is at best sweet and naive and at worst a colossal error, since apparently people who know the difference between using butter and Crisco can’t possibly have much capital. Hmm.

Since I am not in a hurry to find franchisees I decided to  do what I did when I was looking for a Head Baker (and almost four years in with the one and only HB Andrea that worked out pretty well!), and ask George Brown College if they would distribute a “flyer” about franchising …and they agreed (great people at GBC!). I have received several inquiries from the “flyer” and a couple of other random inquiries which seem interesting and the main thing  is that I have calmed down and realized that if I don’t force a deadline on myself as to when I “must have” one or more franchisees, this can just be another learning opportunity.  I am better with “learning opportunities” when I am on the other side of them, but then again, who isn’t?


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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