Brinder’s Bakery Journey in Vancouver
Brinder’s two young daughters often join her at the bakery when she is baking. They like watching their mom work. “I like having them there,” shares Brinder. “I like that they see that’s it’s hard work to own a business, but that I enjoy it.”
Brinder’s first bakery was (and still is) the popular Davie Street, Vancouver location. In 2006, Brinder was living in Vancouver’s West End when she went grocery shopping to prepare for a special visit from family. She left the grocery store without the bread she needed. “I didn’t like anything in the grocery’s bakery. I wandered down Davie Street to see if there was anywhere else that sold bread, and I found a COBS Bread bakery. I had never heard of them before. It smelled amazing, and I loved the bread I bought.”
Brinder was curious about the company and checked it out online. “I noticed that they franchised,” said Brinder. “I was interested because I was looking for a change from my current job. I worked as a Business Consultant for a fast-food chain and it was all that I knew,” Brinder reflects. “I wouldn’t have called my self a baker- but I knew how to run a business.”
In addition to that, there were several aspects of the business that really appealed to Brinder. “I found out that they were looking for people who lived in the community to be their bakery owners. That really said something to me,” she said. “Not only that, I loved the End of Day Giving model which involves giving back to the community, in addition, the freshness of the bread, and the high-quality ingredients.”
Brinder took over the bakery in June of 2007. After a few years of running the business, Brinder jumped at the opportunity to purchase the West 4th COBS Bread bakery when it became available for sale. And in 2016, Brinder purchased the coveted Robson Street bakery. To give you a sense, there are 105 franchised COBS Bread bakeries (seven corporate) in Canada with over 84 franchisees – Brinder is one of only three to own more than two bakeries.
In the Community
Brinder quickly became involved in the community. “Owning a business opens up a lot of avenues that you want to explore.” For a long time, Brinder has been a part of the West End Business Improvement Association. “As a small business owner you want to become involved in the local business community to help ensure you have a thriving business for the long term.”
All three of Brinder’s COBS Bread bakeries support local elementary schools with donations and the Dough Raiser program. They also help AIDS Vancouver raise funds by displaying and selling ribbons in the bakery. The bakery is dedicated to fulfilling donation requests as much as possible from the neighbourhood.
In October 2018, Brinder received the honour of being recognized by the federal government as a business owner who plays a vital role in supporting her community. Because of Brinder’s role in the community and the efforts put forth by her three bakeries, she received a Certificate of Appreciation from their local MP Hedy Fry. (See photo: Brinder left, Hedy Fry right. Photo credit: @HedyFry Twitter account.)
At the Office
Having passionate people and franchisees are an important ingredient in the success of your network. In fact, Brinder is the regional representative in the COBS Bread “Marketing Advisory Committee,” a group of franchisees nominated by their peers who provide feedback on behalf of fellow franchisees on upcoming marketing directives, and more.
We are so fortunate to have people like Brinder as a part of our team, and a part of our community.