New Head Baker Anne…and Gwen Stefani



It was exciting on Monday when two of our team took on new jobs – Anne Silegren as Head Baker and Carly Gillman as General Manager.

With a new Head Baker coming in, it seemed like a great opportunity to look at the whole structure and make it “one team” (or should I say, “One Team”, like back in the big corporate world where all new initiatives start with upper case letters for Extra Impact!).

In the newly-created role of GM, Carly is a go-to person for every area of the bakery, sending out the not-too-subtle message that every area is equal. I met with the management team on Monday morning and everyone is excited about the changes, with new ideas about how to be one team/One Team already bubbling up.


On another note I read an interview of Gwen Stefani recently and liked what she said about “the work-life balance thing”. She said, “there isn’t any truth to it” and that when people make comments about her balance of children/acting/singing/fashion design and who-knows-what-else (she must spend time looking fabulous?!), she is quick to mention the full time assistant, tutors, nannies, housekeepers (plural), managers (plural) and an army of people at her perfume line who help her make it all happen. Increasingly I am a big fan of telling it like it is, so it was refreshing to read Stefani’s comments.  I  think her point applies to everyone – we can only do so much and (1) delegating and paying for help is terrific if that is feasible for one’s situation and budget; and (2) if hiring out/delegating is not possible, then the other smart choice is saying no and not taking on so much, and even letting some responsibilities and activities drift away.

But what to keep and what to ditch? I was in Wolfville recently visiting our son Ted at Acadia University and we drove by a church sign several times during the weekend – one of those signs with the cheesy message that changes weekly. This one, although cheesy, stuck with me: “Life is so much brighter when we focus on what truly matters.”

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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