After five years of pursuing their dreams, literally and figuratively, Nick and Elyse Oleksak sold their Bantam Bagels business to T. Marzetti Company for $34 million. The company first emerged on the scene in 2014 with their appearance on Shark Tank. Their entrepreneurial spirit and solid business plan prevailed and resulted in a $275,000 investment by Lori Greiner and another appearance on QVC where they sold out within minutes.
The Bantam Bagel business started small, like any other business endeavor. Nick found himself inspired to pursue this line of work after having a dream about stuffed bagels. After research, the couple discovered a hole in the market for frozen bagels and their innovative approach to stuffed bagels garnered immediate success. Their products are now sold in their NYC shop and over 9,000 stores, including Starbucks, nationwide thanks in large part to Shark Tank. The key to their success? Solid business partners and a commitment to staying true to themselves and their brand.
While the couple can’t boast of having a culinary background, they make up for it with their unwavering spirit and an unparalleled determination. After landing their first large-scale deal with QVC, they realized just how unprepared they were but this by no means deterred them. The couple began running the oven for 24 hours a day, tackled the hurdles of packaging, delivery, warehousing and much more. That order has been their driving force to maintain their forward momentum and continue to break barriers in the food industry, especially where bagels are concerned.
Two of their bagel flavors, plain and everything, have become the third and fourth top-selling frozen bagels in the United States and their products have grown more than 160 percent in dollar sales and units year over year. They have tackled the challenge of finding their niche in the food industry which can be difficult when local stores value local loyalty to certain brands. However, they have certainly prevailed spectacularly since they have become relevant to buyers and customers in every corner of the country.
After selling their business, the Oleksaks are by no means coasting. They will continue to have a very hands-on role in the business and run the day to day operations to ensure their authenticity and energy is maintained. The sale was meant to enhance the company on a large-scale and allow their products to flourish. Bantam Bagels exploded on to the bagel scene several years ago and has never faltered in their commitment to providing new and delicious products across the country. The sale of the company is just their next step to more original and, hopefully, more delicious endeavors.