More than just words


Yesterday I was stopped in my tracks as I walked by the edible printer – there were 8 toppers with the photo of a beautiful cat – it must have been the cat-crazy owner’s birthday! I had to snap a picture of this handsome tabby.IMG_1892

On Tuesday evening we had a team meeting at the house and the main discussion was about the PGB Values which are really simple and reflect my personal vision for the business:

  • We believe in having fun at work
  • We make delicious home-style baking and only serve baking that we’d be proud to serve our own families and friends
  • We deliver friendly, intelligent customer service and we know that our customers are at the heart of what we do
  • We work hard
  • We treat each other with respect, honesty and openness
  • We speak up and say if something is bothering us

In my experience, values are only words on a page unless there are actions and behaviours that support them, every day. So we divided into 4 groups and brainstormed actions and behaviours that support/affirm the PGB values and others that negate or contradict them.

The values are motherhood-and-apple pie so the exercise was simple but, I think, important. If gossiping about another team member is seen as contradicting the culture of the business, rather than an interesting way to kill time, then it is less likely to happen. I do think though that instilling values is one of those things that can never be forgotten or set aside.  From hiring people who will naturally (because of their own personality) adhere to the values, to coaching when the values are not followed, reinforcement of the corporate culture is in the category of things that the owner and his or her management team can never let drift.

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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