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This article was published 6/4/2018 (1299 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When it comes to bringing her new business to the community, Randi Pilon definitely has a hands-on approach.
Sage Creek resident Pilon, 37, is the new franchisee of the brand-new COBS Bread location at 2-827 Dakota St. at St. Vital Square. Locally owned and operated by Pilon, the location is the first COBS Bread bakery in Manitoba. The bakery officially opens it doors on April 6.
On the store’s first day of business, which is known as community day, all proceeds will be donated to the local non-profit organization Hands of Hope, which provides free furniture and household items to individuals and families in need.
The company specializes in handcrafted breads in a variety of flavours and textures, including traditional breads, specialty loaves, and artisan breads, as well as sweet treats such as cinnamon buns, scones, and Danish pastries. Pilon — who is married to Ryan and has two children — said each COBS Bread location produces a "core set" of staple items, each location tailors its output based on the "wants and needs of people in the neighbourhood" as the business evolves and grows with the community.
"We’ll have a little ballot on the counter, so our customers will be able to tell us about anything they want to see in the store," Pilon said.
"We want to grow with the community, which is a huge part of this. It’s all about the bread, and the excitement that comes from baking bread, and sharing that joy."
"It’s important for me to know what in the things I’m eating, and it’s also important for me to make things I’d make my kids. My goal is not only to share this with the community, but to raise my kids as active members of the community and teach them about having a goal and about the hard work it takes to achieve it. To be the first COBS Bread bakery in the province is an amazing opportunity. Being first has also brought its challenges, in terms of location and construction, but I don’t think you appreciate it as much if it’s easy. I’m so pumped, and our bakers a working so hard to make our vision a reality. We’re all feeding off each other. It doesn’t get much better than this."
The business not only allows Pilon to indulge in her longtime passion for baking, but she can also draw parallels between her new entreprise and her former profession as an occupational therapist.
"As a hand specialist, I also got to learn about the needs of the community," she said.
"Our hands are how we are communicate with each other, show expressions, and show love. Our hands also help us provide for our families, and when that is missing, one can lose their sense of self. As an occupational therapist, I helped rehabilitate people to use their hands and give back their loved ones."
"And there are few things more important than breaking bread with people," Pilon added.
According to a news release, COBS Bread bakeries are actively involved in their local communities, which is considered a cornerstone characteristic of the brand.
Go online at www.cobsbread.com/opening-soon/winnipeg for more information, or visit COBS Bread (St. Vital Square) on Facebook.
Simon Fuller is the reporter/photographer for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family.