Editor’s Letter: July 2013
By Laura Aiken
Our third business awards contest deadline is quickly approaching.
Our third business awards contest deadline is quickly approaching. Bakers have until July 31 to send us their nominations: entries we look forward to reading.
Granting the Bakers Journal Business Awards – gold sponsored by Fuller Landau chartered accountants and business advisors, silver sponsored by Paragon Glaze Consulting, and bronze sponsored by Speedo flavours – has given us a great opportunity to showcase some of the wonderful innovations and best business practices happening in Canada. We had one category in our first year of the contest, and were thrilled to crown Baked at Frankie’s in Uxbridge, Ont., as the inaugural Innovator of the Year. In year 2, we expanded the contest to two categories. We kept the existing Innovator of the Year award, but added Growing for Success. Curbside Bliss Cupcakes in the Greater Toronto Area, Ont., received the 2012 Innovator title, and Dessert Lady in Toronto became the first recipient of Growing for Success.
Entries for the past two years have come to us from bakeries big and small, and it has proven challenging to compare their operations as apples to apples, so to speak. It always takes much debate for the judging panel to reach a decision that feels right and justified, particularly with so many great nominations to review. For the third year of the contest, we have decided to separate the big and small bakeries into two categories that are both based on innovation. I doubt this will make our jobs as judges much easier, but it will help us more easily compare like with like.
We have heard wonderful stories through this contest about everything from recipe development to equipment innovation and branding superstars. While I commonly hear from bakery owners that it can be a struggle to hire people who have passion, I cannot doubt the passion I’ve seen with my own eyes in the industry at large. Perhaps it is a high bar that has been set for the newcomers, but it is primarily this passion that has driven the success achieved by so many of the great operations I’ve had the opportunity to tour or talk with through the business awards contest. Life’s the zzz’s without the zest.
Innovation is definitely a product of passion. It’s the inability to stop tinkering, and the relentless determination to solve a problem. Innovation in baking brings to mind new products or equipment and better methods in the kitchen, on the production line and in the business. Service, though not often highlighted in an entry for an innovation award, is always wrapped up in great organizations in a big way. Good service makes companies memorable; excellent service makes them unforgettable (although bad service can also make an organization unforgettable in another way). We would love to hear more about the ways you improve your service.
I extend a thank-you to Fuller Landau, Paragon Glaze Consulting and Speedo for their commitment to the business awards and support of the bakery industry. We truly have so much fun and find it an honour to tell the stories of wonderful Canadian bakeries and provide recognition for all that they do. Bakeries big and small, those that have entered before or are new to the contest (with the exception of winners), please go to www.bakersjournal.com and send us your entries! We can’t wait to hear more about you.