Bakers Journal

Editor’s Letter: December 2017

November 15, 2017
By Laura Aiken

You give, we give

The Bakers Journal Jake the Baker Award is now in its fourth year. It has been an honour to share the story of so many innovative bakers through this award, one which would not be possible without our sponsors. Thank you to our 2018 team: founding sponsor Ardent Mills, silver sponsor Baker’s and Us, and bronze sponsor Routhier & Fils.

Of course, the contest would also be lacking without the ever-humourous Jake the Baker, a cartoon that illustrator Brian Fray has been bringing to life in Bakers Journal for 36 years. That’s a lot of cartoons! Thank you Brian for being part of the bakery industry’s creative spirit.  

As we close 2017 amidst the first blush of the holidays, it seems a perfect time to draw attention to the changes we have made to the Jake the Baker Award for 2018. The contest has a newly inspired direction navigated by the gift of giving.

Innovation has been at the heart of the Jake the Baker Award since its inception. Now, we’d like to focus that innovative energy on community outreach. This year’s award is all about recognizing the ways in which you give back.


Elaine O’Doherty at Ardent Mills came up with a brilliant idea for this year’s entries, and we’re very excited to partner with Ardent Mills as part of our own giving back initiative.

For every Jake the Baker entry we receive, Bakers Journal and Ardent Mills will contribute $50 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. This organization administers a variety of programs nationwide that serve children and youth of all ages. From healthy eating and active living, to crime prevention and job and leadership skills, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada provide essential support to families.

Jake the Baker is still, at heart, an innovator contest. The winning entry will demonstrate a bakery that has a culture of generosity from the inside out. Anyone who can cultivate that is an innovator, as it’s not easy by any stretch. Generosity relates to how staff perceive their role and each other, how staff view their relationship with their community, their dedication to the bakery and thus in turn the bakery’s dedication to the community. Generosity is a bouquet of time, money, small and large acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, empathy, desire to see others succeed, and emphasis on connection.

We hope that 2017 has been a successful year for you, yours and your bakery business. It’s hard to believe it will be 2018 when we meet here on these pages again. Party like it’s 1999 is beginning to disappear from the rearview mirror altogether. As you ring in the New Year, and perhaps set those ritualized resolutions, consider all that can be done in this passage of time and all that you can do for others.

The team at Bakers Journal wishes you a safe and happy holidays!

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