Location: Newton, MA
Industry: Retail and wholesale artisan bakery and cafes
“There is no reason for people to eat machine-made, chemical-filled food,” says Laura Trust, president of SJB Bagel Makers/Finagle A Bagel. The company makes all-natural bagels, breads and other bakery items from scratch, by hand. When Trust first had the idea for her company, she was working in the apparel industry in Hong Kong, and realized she liked eating food much more than shopping for clothes. So, with the simplicity and comfort of bagels in mind, she founded her company. “I liked the thought of handing something my company made directly to a consumer. I wanted to know the people who worked with me, and wanted them to know that I care about the job that they do,” she says.
Quick Tip: “As a leader, I want to be sure those I work with know I have their back.”
One of the ways Trust has set her company apart has been through innovation in natural foods development. The company created an all-natural bagel recipe that would allow bagels to be kept ambient for two times longer than the company’s original recipe. And, when Wal-Mart asked Trust to create a premium, all-natural bagel program for the dairy case that would allow the bagels to be kept refrigerated for more than three weeks, SJB Bagel Makers made it happen.
Despite the fact that SJB Bagel Makers has faced significant challenges, like a recession that forced the company to rethink its strategy, Trust has led the company by remaining calm regardless of the situation. “Most problems that arise are not going to completely crater the company,” says Trust.