September thoughts


Our corporate customers often order custom sugar toppers or imprinted cakes to celebrate milestones or product launches. A financial services company recently celebrated the anniversary of a new credit card partnership with 3 Celebration Cakes heralding an upbeat message about their success.

Sometimes I think, wow, it would be nice to actually have things wrapped up with a bow – but my experience of being an entrepreneur is that there is always the next idea in the wings. No sooner do we get the photos taken of the new Fall Treats of the Week but Anne comes into my office with a Bounty-themed Treat: coconut cake, milk chocolate, YES!

So… more photography needed and next comes Tracey about how customers are clamouring for Frosting Shots and then someone mentions how China is woefully in need of cupcake stores. Hmm. Always a next idea.

But…notwithstanding the ongoing evolution, it is nice to occasionally look at specific innovations that have achieved some traction, even if there’s still room for growth. Two such projects in the last year have been the Cakes division and the Last Minute Menu. OMG these ideas were/are such a lot of work but I’d say they have both achieved – and maybe exceeded – my expectations.

The Last Minute Menu allows our customers to order for the next day after the usual cut-off time of 3 pm, right up until noon of the same day. We announced  this on social media but other than that, it has developed by word of mouth and most days we have at least a dozen last minute orders.

Would our Last Minute customers come into the stores anyway and purchase cupcakes, if they weren’t able to order online? I think that “some” of them would but that most of them (half?) would not bother, thinking that we may be sold out in-store.

And in Cakes by Prairie Girl, the big challenges have been (1) synchronizing the amount of hours required by our cake designers to produce these works of art with the pricing; and (2) getting the word out that we no longer “just” make cupcakes and small homestyle cakes.

In the summer we hired a publicist who has really helped us with awareness….our PR campaign culminates next week in a “VIP Cake Tasting and Champagne Reception” at my home. Stay tuned as we will be posting lots of photos about the evening on social media and in due course I will be sure to write more about Cakes by Prairie Girl here.


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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