Toronto bakery is selling so many pies it's opening new locations all over the place
Few things are more comforting than some quality baked goods and in a year where comfort has been very much needed, it's no surprise that Toronto bakery Sweetie Pie is thriving.
The company opened its initial Harbord Street locaiton in July of last year and since then has expanded to Queen Street West and Unionville with a Danforth location coming next week and another one in the Distillery District not far behind.
An 8000 square foot commissary production facility in South Etobicoke has also been built. Needless to say, people all over Toronto have very quickly embraced Sweetie Pie and their wonderful baked goods.
Sweetie Pie was created by Cesario Ginjo, who is also the man behind FlowersCanada.com and Dolce Chocolate Co. In fact, each Sweetie Pie location has a wall with Dolce Chocolate's also available to customers.
Ginjo says it's this passion of giving customers what they want that has caused Sweetie Pie to thrive over the past year. The quality of a large franchise but the care and passion of a local bakery are the combination that he feels every Sweetie Pie location embodies.
"I think the biggest success is my wife connects with every customer at every location differently," Ginjo told blogTO.
"At the end of the day the customer still wants the quality and the service that comes with a box store, but they want the feel of a local."
Every store manager at Sweetie Pie locations has a mandate to get involved with their community. Over the past year they've supported events for pride month and supported local youth shelters.
Both quality of service and quality of product are top priority to Ginjo and his team, even if it means tossing away product or investing more money in training employees.
"I'd rather throw away 10 pies if they're not 100% than try to sell them. My customers are too important to me," Ginjo explained.
"We hire with attitude. We hire based on the person, if you're happy, go-lucky, you love life, that's what we look for in a person. If you're open minded and have the right attitude we can teach you anything."
The investment in his employees and customers has certainly paid off, as Sweetie Pie locations continue to pop up around the city.
Ginjo tells blogTO he believes the business could one day be open to franchising, stating that consultants said the Sweetie Pie brand could be the next Canadian franchise.
As Sweetie Pie continues its meteoric rise, it seems it's only a matter of time before it outgrows the city. One day, Toronto residents will be able to say they were here first.
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