“I stand behind my scones” said the sign Michael Quibell held in a recent photo he posted on Little Doo’s Facebook Page. In the ten years we’ve been seeing him behind his table at the Market he’s stood behind a lot of products. Two years into his career as a Market baker Michael learned the value of sampling and hasn’t looked back, adopting a “try before you buy” policy that ensures there is almost always something ready to taste at his table.
Customer feedback is a huge part of Michael’s philosophy. While he’s always experimenting, the first-stage successes (having passed muster among friends and family at the farm) are usually brought before the best and most honest judges at the Market: you. His scones – a very recent addition – are one of the few exceptions; having tested them at home, he packaged up a small order and advertised them on his Facebook Page, where a loyal following took note and cleaned him out, taste-untested, the very next day. Apparently the feedback was positive. “One lady,” he recounts with a laugh that sounds like Santa on summer vacation, “bought a package and went home and ate them. Then she got back into her car and came all the way back to the Market for another batch.”
Michael stands behind more than just his products at the Market. Several years ago he joined the Board of Directors and was elected last year to the position of Chair; today Michael stands proudly behind the Market itself. Those of you who have been paying attention to his ever-changing posters and signs will know that in the past few years Michael’s forged close relationships with charities that focus on feeding the hungry, putting his amazing energy behind the Regional Food Distribution Association and Grace Place through baking, kitchen organization and planning and even fund-raising efforts like the Coldest Night of the Year Walk, which takes place on February 22nd and has been supported by hundreds of Market patrons through donations and the purchase of specially-marked fundraising packages at Michael’s table.
As much as we like to joke about “Michael’s behind,” one of the greatest things about the way Michael stands behind his food, his Market and his chosen charities is his ability to convince others to stand behind him in his efforts to do better. We’re all very proud of him and his efforts to make Thunder Bay a tastier, kinder, better-fed place. Anyone can get behind that.
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