No pop allowed!


We’re going to start selling cold drinks in the Victoria and Yorkville stores so Carly and Tracey put together a short list of the options: water, apple juice, iced tea.

Where’s the diet pop, I asked?

Well, came the reply, diet pop – all pop – is not “Prairie Girl -ish”. Prairie Girl is apparently a more clean living (probably nicer) individual than me so our stores will not be marred with soda pop in the coolers.

Hopefully the stash I keep in my office fridge won’t be removed.

Joking aside, I agree with them – the PGB brand is all about bright white boxes with crisp colourful logos; all-natural, fresh-baked cupcakes; a charitable program…and somehow those brand signals don’t fit with carbonated beverages. Which doesn’t bother me in the least because I’ve always respected the clear line between me and the business.

When I worked at my parents’ auction market behind the lunch counter, Dad always paid for his coffee and corned beef sandwich – he’d never just take it because he “could”. I can see him in my mind’s eye sorting through his pocket change to find quarters (why break a bill?). So years later when I opened PGB, it never occurred to me to do anything but follow the bakery’s advance ordering rules and pay full price. Usually I order online as does Andrew, the difference being that Andrew writes notes in the Comments box like, “I’ve ordered all Vanilla Vanilla – busy!-  please make it assorted!”

I know there are lots of legal reasons to keep the separation of individual and corporate entity in mind but for me it is simpler than that. It would feel show-offy to act differently than everyone else – it’s hard enough to create a team atmosphere without having different rules for different people.


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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