On the eve of our 2nd birthday, I can't help bur reflect on the past year. They say new businesses rarely survive the first year. Especially food establishments. But here we are - celebrating our 2nd birthday! The 1st year was a wild ride, and I have to say, so was the 2nd.
In the past year we've grown more than we imagined we would. We were on CTV, Rogers, and CBC, bringing in customers from all over Ottawa Valley looking for a vegan cake or gluten free doughnut. We even get customers all the way from Montreal and Toronto to stock up on our granola and bread. But perhaps the most exciting thing to happen this year when it comes to our sweets is that you can now find a selection of them across the province! That's right! They're available on Farm Boy shelves as far as Whitby and London, Ontario. When we started this business it seemed like a distant dream to have our treats available for vegans, gluten-free goers, and those allergic to nuts in different cities. But within 2 years we've done it!
This past year has also brought about some major personal changes for the owners of SBB as well. If you've been following us on social media, or just coming into the shop and witnessing my belly get bigger and bigger, you'll know that I had a baby! My husband Dejan and I welcomed our little baby girl Ana Jade into the world on July 24. While it's definitely odd not to be at the bakery everyday, I am utterly grateful to my business partner Claire, our bakery manager Erin, and the entire Strawberry Blonde team for making sure that the shop not only runs smoothly while I'm gone, but that it continues to grow.
For Claire, this past year has also brought on some major changes. A growing cavernoma was discovered on her brain, which landed her in the hospital a couple times - the second time to have brain surgery to have it removed. While the surgery was successful, Claire is still recovering. She's a major trooper though and she still comes into work! Now that's devotion!
And yet, amongst all these major life events, SBB continues to thrive! For that we would like to thank our wonderfully brilliant bakery manager Erin and the entire team at Strawberry Blonde. Their creativity and passion for all things baking related (seriously, you should hear how long these ladies can talk about fancy shaped cookie cutters!) is what makes the bakery the amazing place that it is. We are incredibly lucky to have the team we do!
Finally SBB wouldn't be what it is without our customers! No matter how much we grow, there's nothing Claire and I love more than a customer telling us how much they love our treats. And most of all, we love when customers come in and we see the sparkle in their eye, knowing they can eat absolutely anything on offer, whether they're vegan, gluten-free, or allergic to nuts. Thank you Ottawa for your love of all things local and sweet! We're excited to see what the next year brings!
Here's to another year!