QUALITY FIRST, SLEEP LATER
I had been in our new co-packer’s bakery now for 10 straight days from sunrise to sunset, and I knew every single person’s name, their role on our line, and I was starting to see how this was maybe, just maybe going to work.
In need of more space to bake our bagels, we took a major risk and moved the entire operation. Now here we were, only 3 weeks away from a 1,500 store launch with Starbucks, and we hadn’t yet been able to perfect the product. We couldn’t start production until everything was just right, so we continued to bake batch after batch after batch, adjusting as we went along, day after day and night after night.
From the very beginning we knew that we were doing something different and unique with the bagel, turning a classic, iconic New York City food item on its head. We knew that despite the unique and creative characteristics of our product, we had to also deliver quality to our customers each and every time. If something is unique and different, someone will try it once. But if it isn’t better than the original, that customer is never coming back.Perfection was the reason I had made our new bakery my second home. Entrepreneurs are only as good as their last idea or, in our case, our last bagel. We had to make sure each and every bagel we made was as memorable as the last. It took nearly two weeks of around the clock testing before we were finally able to replicate that perfect New York City bagel experience we had created a few years earlier in our Brooklyn apartment kitchen. Only this time, instead of making 2 dozen per batch, over 50,000 bagels were rolling out every shift. I have no regrets about my long days and late nights at the bakery. It is always worth doing everything possible to make sure your product is the best it can be. No amount of press, media, or hype will outweigh quality.