Prairie Girl bakery has shut its doors for good in the GTA. Prairie Girl first opened in April of 2011 and gained a loyal following for its old-fashioned cakes, cupcakes, and catering options. Directly impacted by the current pandemic, Prairie Girl closed four of its five locations in 2020 and is now shuttering its flagship location at 18 King St. E.
Jean Blacklock, Prairie Girl founder, recently told Bloomberg that keeping the bakeries running is no longer sustainable. Mainly relying on foot traffic and large orders that no longer exist, Prairie Girl’s last location was unable to turn a profit despite government financial assistance.
Blacklock began the bakery in 2011 when she left a job as a wealth services manager at the Bank of Montreal (BMO) to open a cupcake shop. The shop quickly blossomed into a chain of popular bakeries that became something of a staple in the Toronto dessert world. For the past 10 years, the bakery has been a go-to cupcake stop for many city residents.
When the pandemic shuttered restaurants last March, Blacklock had to adapt to a new digital reality and find ways to sell baked goods virtually. Freezer assortments made the popular list, as did jars of homemade icing but pivoting to a new online strategy wasn’t enough to keep the business afloat.
“We are sorry to be sharing the news that Prairie Girl Bakery has permanently closed as of today, January 5, 2021,” the bakery’s Instagram page stated. “Thank you to our wonderful customers for the past 10 years of support!”
Prairie Girl joins a long list of restaurants, cafés and bakeries that shuttered in 2020 and 2021 as a direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.