Pain Into Super Power

Success has a driver. Always. It doesn’t generally fall into one’s lap. Some common drivers: Money makes money. Inheritance. Aching curiosity. Determination. A deep seated want. Growing up as a have-not and wanting more. These are to name a few.

My driver sprouted from pain. The immense amount of pain I have experienced in my life from a young child, to the half grown adult I am today (call it a work in process!).

Because, in order to tell and sell the story of our brand to a world of franchisees, we need to captivate exactly what is the essence. What makes us unique, inspiring – what is Jane’s Super Power? What makes a Brand rise to be among the best in Calgary or in Class against all odds?

I believe it is turning pain into power. That is the one gift i have clung to my whole life – through high level grueling years of soccer competition and training, through early childhood trauma, through substance addiction, various other self abuses, and with the loss of my parents first at age 18 and again at 21. These events lead me to a dark journey throughout my 20’s feeling more or less alone in the world.

Pain Into Power. It’s a decision, but it also thrives within, bubbling under the surface until you are willing to recognize it, harness it and yield it without being a complete jack-ass (me when I binge drink).

So in developing Jane Bond from thin air and minimal finances, my ability to harness all that pain from the past into a super power first became known as my ally. It was activated, although trust me, it wasn’t and still isn’t super polished. It has been a painful journey more than words can express, but each step of the way I have learned how to turn that pain into power. That is my Superpower I now realize. And that is what makes Jane Bond a SuperHero brand – a brand of the people. A completely bootstrapped brand that has created so many success stories and opportunities from a unique ability to innovate pain points.

Past Pain point: We have no money. BBQ is expensive. Our margins are unimaginably tight.


We learned to multi-task and diversify our brand like a mother f@#*$@! We ran our butts off like a side-show gig to grow two restaurants and a catering operation at the same time, with two owners (who are THE operation managers amongst many other hats) and a staff that fluctuates between 8-12 team members in the height of our busy summer months. Oh, and we project 1.7M sales this summer. If you don’t understand the food industry, this may not register for you as asinine, but if you do, you know just how driven we are and how hard we have worked.

It is unheard of. And it is incredibly painful. HOW have we done it against all odds?

Increasing revenue – non-negotiable standards and head cocking innovative processes, which we hear about in the form of how many employees in this industry struggle to work with us or have heard about our work style. It’s intense and super outside of the box. BBQ is incredibly difficult to manage through slow and busy volatility. It requires a superhuman care piece that is nearly impossible to inspire in cooks although necessary as you are busy trying to grow a business. But, we have been relentless about our standards, until piecing together a team of misfits for the most part, who care as much as we do. That was not an easy or quick task, it took many years to cultivate that culture within an industry that tends to not want to conform to outside of the box concepts. Then we invested a lot in trial and error marketing that can’t be ignored. We have a very proud and loud diverse brand.

Cost savings-now this is where it gets super tricky. Here’s the equation:

Must have staff to run a food business. Staff don’t care about your financial problems, they require an above-average pay to perform the multi-roles you ask of them. Labour Cost = higher than average, food cost is higher than average, 3rd party delivery platforms are pillaging our profits, old gov’y is our majority paid business partner each year raking in the lion’s share of profits. So how do we make money for the incredibly hard work we perform daily (and a hell of a lot of painstaking long hours and ongoing tedious issues (like never ending equipment issues for one) to sustain us as Owners all the while)??

We have had to get very creative in order to fulfill our production and service needs, at a price point that our multi-faceted and under funded business could afford – while leaving a BIT left over to pay ourselves and reinvest for growth.

Enter: Online Ordering. We have been doing this since the very beginning of Covid, well before others. WHY? Because A we recognized service staff consume a lot of resources in a food business, B we don’t sell a lot of alcohol typically at our current locations (which means every dollar is very hard earned by a kitchen performance), and C our kitchen and operations team does really all the hard hard work and we feel they should be appropriately compensated more than the industry standard of $16-$20/ HR. So, we designed an online ordering system (which has been a painful road to get this technology working efficiently enough and it came with a lot of initial losses). We installed kiosks which again we have had to push the tech companies to optimize because isn’t fully functioning when it is not custom made. This has allowed us to really emphasize our take-out and delivery business with these self-serve options.

None of it has been easy, or without loud criticisms along the way, but as the key person responsible for ensuring our companies bottom line AND growth, these are some of the ways I have turned pain into our super power. Setting down the tracks of a real foundation for which to promote growth from. #ChallengesAreSnacks!

Stay tuned for more on the Jane Bond Journey and Entrepreneurial Fuel for Thought.


Jenny B.