The BBC celebrated it’s 18th anniversary this month. Time flies when you are boiling bagels!
People always ask me how the BBC started. My short answer, “I needed a job!”
The truth is that I always wanted to start my own business. I was the geek in high school that was reading books on how to start your own business (when I wasn’t on my Atari playing Pong or at another marathon session of Dungeons and Dragons). I arrived in Bloomington for graduate school and fell in love with the community. After an unsuccessful foray into my chosen career (yes I was fired in USA Today…for both reasonable and unreasonable reasons), I decided to embrace my dream of entrepreneurship.
I wrote my first business plan and realized the concept I was considering was the path to financial ruin. On a trip home to Buffalo New York, I read a long article in the Buffalo Evening News on how the bagel industry was taking off. Something clicked. I realized my constant complaining about Bloomington not having any real bagels could be solved!
I wrote a quick business plan and realized this actually might work. I got a job working the night shift in a local bakery (do you remember the Daily Grind/Daily Bread?) to see if I could bake for a living. I loved it! I had someone in my life, Will Hays Jr., who believed in me and helped me to finance the start of the Bloomington Bagel Co. I found a kosher bagel store back in New York that would train me to make real bagels that were boiled.
Eighteen years later and I am grateful for the patience and support of my family, friends, coworkers and our community. The most important lesson I have learned is that it takes a village. And by the way, I now play Xbox and Settlers of Cataan. Geeks win.
By the way, my name is Sue Aquila. You can learn more about my other life as one of the top long course triathletes in my age group in the world. I blog at www.fewoman.com about training and business.