A LEARNING MOMENT
One of our first large production runs was for an elite Caribbean cruise liner, an order that came in by the truckload for bagels that they needed in Miami only 2 weeks later. The stakes were high and time was limited. By way of a small miracle, the bagels got baked and packaged just in time to make a truck down to Florida for the vessel’s initial sail. With an extra spring in our step, we skipped out of the bakery and hopped on the subway—we couldn’t believe we pulled it off! But like most stories from our early days, the tale quickly took a catastrophic turn.
Sure enough, there it was only two days later: An email from the loading dock in Miami, telling us that all of the labels on the outside of our cases were printed incorrectly so the load would not be permitted onto the cruise ship. Panic set in as we realized that relabeling the thousands of cases ourselves, in Miami, was the only option. We instantly booked flights, threw clothes into a bag, began printing thousands of new labels while simultaneously calling the dock manager in Miami, begging him to hold the product until we got there.
As soon as we landed, we sprinted off the plane, hopped a cab directly to the frozen loading dock, identified our product, and immediately got to work. Working through the evening and into the night, we hand applied new (and correct!) labels to thousands and thousands of cases. Shaking and shivering from hours inside the frozen warehouse, there was no stopping until the very last case was labeled.
The warehouse manager reviewed and approved our cases the next morning, allowing them to load onto the ship. We stuck around to watch our bagels climb on board, wishing we could join them. Instead, we headed back to the airport to return to New York City. It was nerve-racking and exhausting, but every minute of that frozen warehouse hustle was well worth it. Sometimes you just have to get it done!