Jordyn Smith has worked at the Thornbury Bakery as a dishwasher, in counter service, as a line cook, head cook and baker. Now she has assumed the role of Marketing Manager. Together with her brother Doug, Jordyn also runs the Bakery’s wholesale gluten-free bakery, separate from the café.
Both are being groomed to manage the family business along with parents Trish and Dave, a business that has been in continuous operation for over 120 years. “Our logo says ‘Established approximately 1901’ because we don’t know exactly when the Bakery opened,” says Jordyn. “We found a hand-drawn map of Bruce Street dated 1901 and the bakery was on it. That’s as close as we’ve gotten.”
The Smith clan took ownership of the Thornbury Bakery in 2008. They continue to prepare recipes passed down from baker to baker to baker, such as their locally famous Chelsea, Cinnamon and Chop Suey buns. “We’re known for our classics,” says Jordyn. “We build on that foundation—you don’t mess with a good thing,” she laughs.
Businesses that support each other
The Thornbury Bakery team’s first priority during the recent pandemic was to take care of its employees, that they got paid and could take care of their families. “Our dining closed and our sales dropped, but we still had to take care of our Bakery family,” explains Jordyn. “And some of our business partners ramped up orders to help us do that pretty quickly.”
Jordyn recalls that Thornbury Craft, a local cidery/brewery that stocks Bakery products for its customers, started ordering lunches from the Bakery for their employees during lockdown. Similarly, Collingwood-based Agnora, a specialty glass manufacturer, began assembling and offering its 70+ employees ‘farmer’s market boxes’, which include Thornbury Bakery products. “Those are just two examples,” explains Jordyn. “I run our social media and I witnessed support between businesses becoming tighter. The pandemic really brought us together.”
Just as businesses have thrown their support behind the Thornbury Bakery, it returns the favour with gift cards for charities and by supporting other local restaurants when ordering dinner and takeout for employees. Jordyn mentions www.eatlocalgreybruce.ca, a not-for-profit that promotes shopping local and makes it easy to shop locally. There, you can place an order for her baked goods, among other products. And when Thornbury producers need to make a delivery to the Eat Local warehouse in Owen Sound, the Bakery van makes the rounds and delivers for many producers.
A sense of community
Jordyn has noticed that people are consciously making the effort to shop local more now than ever before. “I think that’s because, with COVID restrictions, we weren’t seeing the same numbers of tourists. And people in the area knew that was the case,” she says.
When asked, Jordyn couldn’t think of a place she would rather locate the bakery other than where it is. “Thornbury has really become a four-season town,” she says. “It could be the ‘four seasons of charming’,” she laughs. There is a lot of tourism. It’s close to the water. A lot of people come here to get lunch and walk down to the water to eat.” She points towards local programs creating awareness, like the Apple Pie Trail, Eat Local Grey Bruce, supporting agriculture and making the most of what’s grown here.
Jordyn has one last message to share: “We are ready for everyone. To see people we haven’t seen in a long time, people we haven’t been able to serve at the indoor dining room. We want to say hi to you again!”