French or English, if you grew up in Quebec, you probably know Roch Carrier’s classic, The Hockey Sweater. Published in 1979, it’s the story of a boy forced to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey in a small Quebec town that worships Les Canadiens. Anguish and horror ensue.
Fast forward to the tail end of 2019 and another gravely disappointed little boy. Jacob Bertrand refused to eat his birthday cake because instead of this:
A cake with his team’s logo on it.
He got this:
A cake with the logo of Maple Leaf Foods, a Canadian company that makes cold cuts.
Not the same thing at all. Not to Jacob, who in a family of Les Canadiens supporters, is a die-hard Maple Leaf fan.
While Roch’s story ends with the boy praying that moths would eat his jersey so he wouldn’t have to wear it anymore, Jacob’s story finishes on a much happier note.
Through social media, the Maple Leaf Foods company found out about the cake fiasco, and decided to do something about it. They sent Jacob and his family to a Maple Leafs game in Toronto.
Did Maple Leaf Foods get a lot of free press out of this? Yes.
They also gave Jacob a birthday to remember.