In Season 6, Nick and Elyse Oleksak entered the Shark Tank to debut their mini bagel balls filled with cream cheese. The Manhattan-based company secured a deal with Lori and the rest is New York City bagel history.
When the company was revisited on Beyond the Tank in the show’s first season, we visited their Bleecker Street location to speak to Nick about their tremendous growth. As that episode re-airs on December 29, we spoke to the couple again, who called Lori “a real business partner” and also said they’ve shipped Bantams as far as Alaska and Hawaii. Here’s what they also told us about…
Their Shop Being a NYC Tourist Destination
Hundreds of tourists come visit the bakery on Bleecker street each week! We have become a food destination in New York City- a place people travel to visit when they are in the city. We are so honored to join some of the most iconic food destinations in the world already on Bleecker Street like Ottomonellis, John’s Pizza and Faico’s Pork Shop. It’s pretty humbling to be included along side these amazing food destinations on multiple food tours in the West Village.
Their Bestseller & New Addition
The Everybody’s Favorite, our everything bagel stuffed with fresh chopped veggie cream cheese, is probably the most ordered bagel in our bakery still. It definitely does its name justice. However, the Birthday Cake since becoming as regular flavor on our shelves after it’s trial launch for our second birthday festivities this year, is a real fan favorite. Our newest flavor, the Jalepeno Popper, stuffed with jalepeno and cheddar cream cheese, may be our best flavor yet. We only sell the Jalepeno Popper on weekends and it sells out every day before noon!
We actually had an amazing experience on a catering order just recently – we were lucky enough to spend some quality time with Whoopi Goldberg at The View! She ordered Bantams for the entire cast and crew of the show and Elyse and I were able to spend some time with her as she was getting ready to film the show later that morning. Whoopi was a truly wonderful person; it was pretty amazing seeing her in her element and really so down to earth.
The Bantam Bites Hunger Challenge
Ever since we started this business we’ve had the goal in mind that as soon as we got to the point where we were able to, we would start giving back to those in need. Elyse spent her youth visiting and living in third-world countries helping build homes, provide education and any other support that may have been needed and we have always been very community service driven. The Bantam Bites Hunger Challenge is our first effort at raising awareness and funds to help fight hunger in the United States, a problem that we feel strongly about addressing. Nick did the challenge first and fit five Bantam Bagels in his mouth in 10 seconds! All you have to do is fit as many Bantams into your mouth as possible in 10 seconds and post the video to social media using the hashtag #bantambiteshunger. For everyone who tries the challenge we are donating $1 to Food Banks across America and for everyone who matches or beats Nick we are going to donate $5. We are still a small business but we feel we have the opportunity to take something fun and a bit silly and turn it into something meaningful and great. We want to help feed America and it’s our mission to do it one bagel ball at a time.