Bagels have been around since forever and they’re a breakfast essential, so how can they be worth $34 million?
Keep on reading to learn how Nick and Elyse Oleksaks were able to turn such a basic idea into a real hit after pitching on Shark Tank.
When Bantam Bagel first got on Shark Tank, they weren’t doing very well in terms of business, even if their value was around $2.5 million.
After winning the pitch, Bantam Bagel’s net worth kept increasing until reaching $34 million in 2022. However, there was a downfall after that as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quick Facts (At a Glance)
- The Bantam Bagels business started from a couple’s Brooklyn, New York apartment.
- Though the revenue was a lot, the business’ performance was subpar before Shark Tank.
- Sales skyrocketed on the night the couple pitched their idea on Shark Tank.
- More than a thousand Starbucks customers signed a petition to bring the bagels back to the menu after Starbucks had discontinued them.
- The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge negative impact on Bantam Bagels.
About Bantam Bagel
Nick and Elyse Oleksaks are a wholesome couple who created homemade bagels in the comfort of their Brooklyn apartment.
They stuffed bagels with cream cheese and made them tasty inside, and crispy on the outside. That’s their selling point and how they still label their New York City’s original mini stuffed bagels.
The couple presented their idea on the 13th episode of Shark Tank’s 6th season in 2015.
They first opened their bagel shop, which had some success but needed a lot of funding. That’s when they thought that going to QVC would be a good idea—and it proved to be.
Initially, they bargained for $275 thousand for 11% equity and got that number, but for 25% equity from Lori Greiner.
After Shark Tank
You could easily predict how well Batnam Bagels would do when the website crashed after the episode aired. The orders just kept coming in, overworking the servers!
Starbucks, along with 21 thousand stores all over the nation, adopted the Bantam Bagels and sold them. This includes stores like Stop & Shop and Safeway.
Little by little, they were on the rise and got the attention of big franchises. T. Marzetti bought Bantam Bagels in 2018 for $34 million. So, the $275 thousand that Lori invested in the beginning probably got her around $8.5 million when exiting.
The Downfall of the Mini Bagels
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the business took a major hit, just like all the food and beverage markets did.
However, the biggest crash was due to Starbucks discontinuing the Bantam Bagels. Starbucks customers did fight back and created a petition to bring the bagels back to the menu—a petition that got over a thousand signatures, but to no avail.
After that, in 2022, Lancaster Colony (T. Marzetti’s parent company) lost $4.48 million because of Bantam Bagels. By mid-2022, Lancaster Colony exited the business, hoping to find a buyer.
With that, Bantam Bagels was pretty much out of business and shut down both its website and Instagram account.
While you may still find the Brooklyn Bagels in some supermarkets, it’s undoubtedly not as valued as they were back when they first hit the market.
The Bantam Bagels story is a rollercoaster. They started as a small business with a couple of million dollars in revenue.
After showcasing their product on Shark Tank and having Lori invest in them, they got major success and even reached nationwide popularity.
However, as many businesses took the blow during the pandemic, Bantam Bagels lost their value little by little.
Will the couple come up with an innovation for another beloved food or will they stop at the profits they made and the $34 million exit they landed?