When Bantam Bagels was only 4-months-old we got a phone call from the largest home shopping network in the world. We listened ecstatically to the buyer, beaming from ear to ear, as she asked if we could fill a purchase order for 30,000 bagels for an airing in two weeks. At that point, we had only ever baked a maximum of 1,000 bagels per day. Without blinking, we said “yes,” hung up the phone, looked around at our 300-squarefoot bakery, sitting in stunned silence.

With a life-changing opportunity and mere days to make it happen, we did what we knew how: we got to work. We began running the oven 24 hours straight. There was no stopping, there were no shifts, there was just when someone left and when someone else showed up to take their place.

Our staff stepped up like nothing we had ever seen, exceeding all expectations. We were on fire, tackle each hurdle—packaging, delivery, warehousing, compliance requirements—one at a time, learning along the way, and solving each problem as it surfaced. We squeezed five more freezers into our tiny basement, found compliance experts through our distributors, rented frozen trucks and delivered bagels to QVC in daily, middle-of-the-night drop offs. As long as we kept chipping away hour by hour and minute by minute, no problem was too big.

Two weeks later, we went on TV and sold out in 5 minutes. It was a huge risk, but saying “yes” to a big order four years ago became the driving force that took us from one New York City storefront to a credible player on the national stage.
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