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Lessons Learned From This Small Business Growth Story

May 26, 2014

It’s not just New Yorkers that are crazed about bagels. Turns out, Oregonians are also very into their bagels and they let their top vendors know it. Recently, we had a chance to speak with the owner of Spielman Bagels to learn more about the company and its substantial growth over the past year.

Spielman Bagels is based out of Portland, Oregon. However, their story begins in a suburban town called Hillsboro, where the company was based out of for 17 years. It was not until December 2011, that the owner, Rick Spielman, decided to move to a small 720 square foot space on SE Division Street in Portland, Oregon, with sights on the big city foot traffic. At the time, coffee was the core product and the goal was only to make a dozen bagels a day.

When they first moved to Portland, Kettleman’s was the major bagel shop in the area. They were producing over 12,000 bagels a day or a thousand times as many as Spielman Bagels. However, that didn’t last. The Einstein bagel chain stepped in and purchased Kettleman’s and changed their prized recipe. That ended up being a big mistake as customer demand dropped significantly. The result was that bagel lovers in the area and the local Press began looking for the, “best new bagel shop.” Soon, Spielman’s became the go to bagel shop in town. They received an explosion of interest and the business soon expanded from producing 12 bagels a day to now 500 bagels per day.  (more…)