Using my words


A patient parent with a toddler rolling around on the floor, screaming for ice cream, will sometimes say, “Use your words, sweetie”.
I am usually pretty good with words and there is much I want to tell you – but I feel like that toddler right now.
Last Wednesday, I had a Zoom call with the whole PGB team and shared the news that we would not be re-opening in Markham, in the Yorkville area or in Brookfield Place.
The things I want to tell you about are how these decisions were made and the many kindnesses I’ve experienced along the way – and still am, in working with the landlords and in speaking with customers, the banker, our lawyer and advisors, our suppliers, the management team and team members, both those who are staying and those who are leaving.
But I am really distracted this week by the death of George Floyd and I have no words.
I am just sad.
Andrew has a colleague in Chicago whom I’ve met a few times. I think the last time was at a wine tasting event in Napa Valley.
I’ve always thought about him in the same way as I do the other senior executives I meet through Andrew’s work: articulate, witty, interesting and always interested in what I’m up to.
The usual characteristics of good people making a contribution to this world.
Yesterday on a call he shared with Andrew and the rest of his peers that he lives with his guard up, sometimes in fear, always has.
His daily life experience and that of his children is different than mine because of the color of their skin.
An avid runner, he never runs alone at night. People cross the street sometimes to avoid walking by him. He is stopped by police more often than his neighbours.
We’re being tested in 2020. In my little business, everywhere in the world, in every way.
I won’t lose track of the many things I want to tell you about PGB’s transformation, but I’m going to leave it for now.


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


To receive email notifications of new blog posts, please subscribe below.



Hello, You!

I’m so glad you are here.

Sign up to receive my posts and you will never miss one. (and by the way - absolutely no other marketing-type emails will be sent your way!)

- Jean