Prairie Girl Bakery offers its consumers a healthier way to indulge
When it comes to indulging, Prairie Girl Bakery has the good(ie)s. As Toronto’s go-to place to cure cravings and impress guests, Prairie Girl Bakery was founded in 2011 by company president, Jean Blacklock. A former lawyer and financial executive, Jean learned through her market research, that there were no high-end cupcake shops or bakeries in Toronto’s downtown core – yet.
“When I was looking to start something new, I was surprised to see there weren’t any shops like the one I have now. I saw a great opportunity for a successful business,” says Jean.
The bakery, which serves customers out of three locations in Toronto’s downtown, is best known for its cupcakes and homestyle cakes made from trustworthy, whole ingredients. Whether someone’s stopping in for an after-work treat, or ordering for a special occasion, Prairie Girl Bakery continuously meets and exceeds consumers’ expectations.
“Our consumers love our use of quality ingredients and they are willing to pay for them. People are very conscious when it comes to what they eat. When cheat day comes around, shortening and cupcakes mixes are out of the question. All of our products are made with old-fashioned ingredients like creamery butter and fresh eggs,” explains Jean.
Consumers today want more in the way of information about the food they are eating. Transparency for food retailers has become key. How was this made? What’s in it? Is it sustainably made? Fighting for a cause inspires every shopper — and in the case of Prairie Girl Bakery, it can even spark a sweet tooth craving.
“I don’t expect everyone to eat a cupcake a day. I don’t even eat one a day. But when it’s time to indulge, people want to get their money’s worth. Quality ingredients are essential, but Prairie Girl Bakery clients know they can depend on the freshest of cupcakes because nobody will be sold a day-old cupcake from one of our shops,” says Jean.
While day old goods are never on the retail menu, Prairie Girl Bakery engages in its own form of philanthropy to make sure its delicious treats never go to waste. At the end of each day, unsold products are sent to programs at the Anglican Church of the Redeemer and the Salvation Army.
“We also do our part by helping with senior and youth lunch programs, specifically birthday lunches at Yonge Street Mission. It’s important to give everyone a chance to celebrate a special occasion with a great tasting cupcake. Sometimes we forget that not everyone can afford to indulge, so we make it possible,” says Jean.
Jean also believes in making her cupcakes available to individuals with food allergies and concerns. Prairie Girl Bakery has flavours available in Gluten-Free and Vegan options. Her next project is to produce protein-fortified cupcakes for seniors, an entirely new venture for the Prairie Girl Bakery. To build her protein-rich recipe, Jean has turned to Menusano’s online nutrition analysis tool to perfect the unique ingredient composition.
Jean’s prediction of business success has certainly proved to be true. Her delicious wares and inspired business concept has been celebrated by Women of Influence, the Huffington Post, Global News, The National Post, Toronto Sun, Metro News, Blog TO, Chatelaine, and Jean, and her cupcakes were recently showcased on CTV Your Morning Kitchen.
When she does indulge in one of her own sweet treats, Jean has her own personal favourites.
Toasted Coconut, Vanilla Vanilla, and Vanilla Dutch Cookie Butter strike her fancy – the latter flavour, November 19th to 25th’s cupcake of the week, in particular. “It’s an absolutely delicious cupcake,” she says.