What’s New – May Edition


The first week of every month I write about What’s New.

Here is something big: yesterday, new Head Baker Heather started!! What’s also very exciting is that our most recent Head Baker Alec will continue in a senior leadership role as Heather’s right hand person, to be mentored on the skills required to expand to a multi-location bakery, and also PGB’s first Head Baker Andrea has returned to PGB recently to help us with special expansion projects.

These 3 leaders represent so much talent!  Not only in their pastry skills but also their business and leadership acumen and I am so aware and appreciative of how unusual it is for a small business like Prairie Girl to have this level of pastry leadership talent and a strong professional Baking team to support them.

In 2013, Carly and I spent quite a lot of time looking into franchising. There were several reasons why in the end it wasn’t a fit but the #1 reason was that our product is simply not “turnkey”. Made-from-scratch baking, perfectly symmetrical piped cupcakes and many designs of Homestyle and Designer Cakes – all in commercial quantities – require highly skilled bakers. Most prospective franchisees are looking for an operation where the products are formulaic like ice cream cones, smoothies or pizza. That’s not our product and so – back to the point – it is really wonderful to have pastry professionals like Andrea, Alec and Heather to ensure PGB delivers on our customers’ expectations.

Heather has been working in the food service industry for 20 years and transitioned into pastry in 2007. She is a graduate of Niagara College’s Culinary Management and Chef’s Apprentice program and the Ecole Chocolat Master Chocolatier Program. Heather’s most recent role was leading the pastry team at Canada’s first St. Regis Hotel here in Toronto.

As I welcome Heather, I also want to note that Andrea’s Baking team leadership from 2011 to 2015, and Alec’s leadership since then, is the reason why we are able to expand.  Alec was a recent graduate of  the  GBC Pastry Arts program when we opened in 2011 and he worked his way up from entry level junior baker to the  head job.

Another news item is that the PGB Social Media Department – a small but mighty team – says it is time to announce the location of our 5th store!!

On Friday. On Facebook and Instagram. 

So that’s all I can say about that – stay tuned to find out where PGB’s 5th store will be, and when.




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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