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Bantam Bagels' Elyse Oleksak Discusses Growth and Buy-side Strategy

Bantam Bagels' Elyse Oleksak Discusses Growth and Buy-side Strategy

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

If you’ve recently frequented a Starbucks, almost any Starbucks, a small bakery item may have caught your eye; the stuffed mini bagel. A selection that surely got my mouth watering, the innovative morsels have taken the retail and foodservice realms by storm, with future plans for takeover planned.

As Elyse Oleksak, Co-Owner of Bantam Bagels, recently told me, what started out as a dream (quite literally), has now blossomed into an award-winning line of star products which are available in nearly 11,000 points of distribution.

Elyse Oleksak, Co-Owner, Bantam Bagels

“Nick [my husband] wrote the idea down in a note on his phone, and we were baking bagels in our apartment kitchen the next night,” Elyse tells me of the company’s beginning. “All of our bagels were developed from trial and error in our kitchen, and are all iterations of what we know and love.”

Bantam Bagels was built on taking risks and an unceasing dedication to hard work. With this mission in mind, the husband and wife duo have expanded from their initial retail location on the iconic Bleecker St. to the accessible shelves of over 2,000 retail locations.

“We want to change the way each and every person bagels, no small task but one we know that if we work nonstop we can achieve. I think what differentiates every successful entrepreneur is the pure, blind belief in their product. If you don't have the unwavering, unfaltering mentality that your product and business will be successful no matter what challenges you may face, your ability to realize that success is severely impacted,” Elyse continued.

The miniature bagels take creative spins off stuffed favorite flavors, as well as exploratory forays into the realms of sweet and savory. From the Hot Pretzel, to the Strawberry Delight, you can peep the entire collection of standout selections here.

The bagels have been making waves in the buy-side sector ever since their release, scooping up various accolades on the way; including being named #3 Best Bagel in NYC by the NY Daily News, a successful Shark Tank appearance, and a noted placement on Oprah’s List of Favorite Things in 2014.

“One of the things we are the most proud of that our bagels are real deal NYC bagels. Every single Bantam Bagel that is distributed across the U.S is made in Brooklyn,” Elyse tells me. “You can't replicate the power of the secret ingredient–NYC tap water!”

So, what’s next on the horizon for Bantam Bagels? Continuing to make elbow room for its brand on the shelf amongst the big, national buy-side labels. Bantam Bagels is looking to add “incrementality” to every door they sell into, highlighting the story of the brand and not just the item.

As Bantam Bagels continues its quest to become the new everyday bagel, formulating tasty innovations along the way, Deli Market News will be sure to keep an eye on this expanding brand.

Bantam Bagels