Risky Business


Which of these things increase revenue: opening new stores, recruiting new people, investing in edible printers, creating more appealing boxes and bags, upgrading the online system, or leasing a management office?

My answer: all these expenses lead to more revenue. But the last item – leasing a management office – was challenging to wrap my mind around. Whereas the other items are undeniably linked to creating more revenue, Carly and I moving from the back of the bakery to the 12th floor of 18 King Street East is something that customers would not know or care about.

And yet, as with the redesign of the Designer Cake menu that I wrote about last week, I’d give this 2019 change at PGB a 10 out of 10.

Carly and I moving up here enabled the catering team to move out of the main store’s kitchen to which we could then add a floor mixer, new freezer and two new coolers.

It also meant we now have interviews and meetings (internal and external) in a space that is quiet and comfortable instead of crammed in-between the edible printer and the cupcake towers. And last but certainly not least, taking this office space was an essential step toward hiring  an assistant in the summer, a change I will write about  in a future post.

All these benefits don’t completely offset the reality that the additional rent isn’t matched by direct revenue ie no one is buying cupcakes up here. But deciding to rent this space was good for me in that I had to face the reality that to expand the business, I needed to think bigger. I’d like to look like a chill business owner and say I am totally cool with the risk of expansion – but the truth is that I find it very hard. I am still hoping that one day I will find all the answers in the back of the book 🙂




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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