Archive for May, 2009

The Baking Stone

Bread1%5B1%5D(2)Disappointed. I really wanted to love this place. I still really, really do want to love it. But like any dysfunctional relationship, I envisioned The Baking Stone to be something that it unacceptably was not.

You had me at organic pastries.

This quaint little business, snuggled into the Saint John City Market, first opened it’s bakery doors in October 2001. With products ranging from fresh crusty breads, to dangerously delicious pastries (try a melt-in-your-mouth “Lobster Tail”), TBS boasts products that are of highest quality, naturally preserved with no artificial additives, sweeteners coloring or preservatives. What is not to love?!

Well, it appears that TBS has expended so much of it’s energy creating quality fresh baked goods, that there was no energy remaining to invest in the other important half of the quality equation, that is: customer experience. Unfortunately consumersj can not be happy on quality products alone.

It goes like this: in order to run a successful retail business, you should make it ridiculously easy for me to give you my money. Telling me that you take cash only is not a good example of this (psst.. Tim Horton, are you listening?). So fair enough, I will do my part and make a special trip to the bank machine to withdraw cash before I visit your venue. But remember, on the days that I can’t be bothered to do this; my money will simply go elsewhere.

Last Saturday, in preparation for an evening dinner party, I did just this. I made a special trip to the bank machine, money in tow, trotted directly to TBS to scope out the seductive display of desserts from outside the refrigerated glass. Beautiful music began to play in my mind as I imagined my guests biting into a sliver of delectable che….

Sound Record Scratch

 “I’m closed.” I heard from behind the counter.  I looked at my watch: 4:45pm.

“I thought you closed at 5?” I questioned.

“We do, but I need to count my cash early so that I can get out right at 5pm.”


“Well then, what happens to all of these desserts here in your cabinet [seducing me]?”

“They’ll go in the freezer.”


Exit consumersj.

A few things:

1. If you care more about ‘getting out at 5’ than taking my money, you don’t want your business to succeed.

2. If you can’t even ponder a way to take my money [and perhaps apply it to the next business day’s float -or something!?], you don’t want your business to succeed.

3. If you are a ‘cash only’ retailer, you don’t want your business to succeed [in 2009].

4. If I’ve got money in my hand to offer you for the products you are selling, and you turn me and my money away for any other lame rationale, you don’t want your business to succeed.

5. If you are not competing with the hours of other City Market vendors right beside you, you don’t want your business to succeed.

It’s not you Baking Stone, it’s me. I just need some space.



City Market
Saint John, NB  E2E 5Y2


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