2023 CEO of the Year: How Rosalyn Hyslop builds her village
Posted on June 30, 2023 | By Alec Bruce | 0 Comments
The co-chief of Mrs. Dunster’s helps lead one of the most resourceful and successful independent bakeries on the East Coast. Wise, whip-smart and wedded to the idea that anything is possible in Atlantic Canada, she’s Atlantic Business Magazine’s 2023 CEO of the Year.
It’s fair to say that just about everything Rosalyn Hyslop—co-CEO of Mrs. Dunster’s Inc., a bakery with annual sales in the millions and markets across Atlantic Canada and the State of Maine—knows about business starts with her mom. Everything that’s important, that is.
“We didn’t have any money,” said the 53-year-old businesswoman, the youngest of six who grew up in a small town near Saint John. “My mother was divorced at a time when that wasn’t a thing. Family members would bring groceries when she couldn’t quite make ends meet. But she was always full of adventure, putting one foot in front of the other, finding joy in the moments. I was in my twenties before I realized we must have been poor.”
Today, Hyslop makes a very good living producing and delivering fresh-baked donuts, bread, and rolls—400 unique products, all told, including garlic cheese buns, Maritime molasses brown bread, and jumbo English muffins—to more than 600 stores, including four of their own, and 200 restaurants twice a week. In 2020, she and her co-CEO husband Blair opened the first new commercial bakery in Atlantic Canada in 20 years, a 40,000 square-foot facility in Moncton. Since then, as almost every business has struggled to find and keep good employees, they’ve increased their workforce by six per cent to about 240. In the coming months, they plan to expand their sales funnel in the United Sates, Ontario and Quebec while burnishing their reputation as one of this region’s most resilient, home-grown enterprises with yearly revenues in the $20 to 50 million range.
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