Awhile ago I mentioned that we are working with George Brown’s Food Innovation studio on a protein fortified cupcake for seniors. We’ve completed the recipe development aspect – the 2 flavours are amazing and each has 10 grams of protein- and now it is over to me to find a market for them. I realize this part of the  project will be the  hardest part…at least for me, creativity and making new things comes easier than selling the end result.

The end consumers of the product will be seniors in retirement homes and patients in hospitals and hospices who struggle to get enough protein and energy each day. But these institutions buy their food service from large caterers who in turn use the large food distribution businesses. So it is a maze at the best of times and feels like a brick wall to a novice.

I read recently that if you can’t think of what to do, make a list of 10 ideas without editing or second guessing yourself. If you can’t do 10, then force yourself to come up with 20. I know this sounds counter-intuitive and not very productive but I did it anyway and came up with a list. The beauty of knowing nothing is that everyone remotely involved in the area knows more – so it is hard to go wrong with even random outreach. They may not have the whole answer but they will have a snippet and then that will lead to another person and so on.

One week into this adventure, I’ve had a couple of good phone calls and one helpful meeting and I think I have a better grip on the  process now. Still a very long way to go.

My mother often said, “Start in any corner” and I have followed that advice a lot. She was referring to the kitchen after Christmas dinner which would be absolutely covered with dishes and pots and pans but it’s a useful little phrase I think of often.

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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