We learned very quickly that being entrepreneurs meant adapting to a lifestyle of constantly swirling panic, elation and heart pounding adrenaline. When the entire company is on your shoulders, every moment, every decision is do or die. We have found that it’s the people that we surround ourselves with who are the true rock stars, and have made all the difference in our success.

At one of our first tradeshows in San Francisco, our booth was the place to be—crowds of hundreds of people lined up, wrapping around the building to sample Bantam Bagels. We went through 3 days’ worth of samples in the first morning. With just the two of us manning the booth, the demand was so overwhelming that we couldn’t keep up with toasting, serving, and selling. It was then that two of our sales brokers stopped by the booth to see how things were going...and one look at our faces told them we were totally drowning. Without missing a beat, they put on gloves, grabbed tongs, and got to work at the toasting station, firing off flavors and tossing product to one another like pros, smiling all the way.

For those outside of the grocery store world, this is something that brokers typically do not do. They are the buyer-facing, suit wearing, analytical brains that keep the account on track. But by stepping up (and stepping behind the counter), they got us through that show and turned a potential disaster into our most successful show yet. We made connections with important buyers, networked with industry leaders, and even made it into a New York Times article because of the buzz around our booth!

This box is dedicated to all of our staff, brokers, designers, bakers, and—of course—to our OG Bleecker Street crew, who have shown us the truest, most amazing kind of hustle, dedication and belief in Bantam. You guys are the true heart behind what we do, and it couldn’t happen without the entire Bantam team.

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