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The NYC Bagel Shop That Blew Up Thanks to 'Shark Tank' Just Got Acquired for $34 Million Bantam Bagels won funding from Lori Greiner to expand its business to retail.

By Stephen J. Bronner

entrepreneur daily
Courtesy Bantam Bagels

Five years after Nick and Elyse Oleksak pursued a literal dream of stuffed bagels to found Bantam Bagels, the couple have sold the business to T. Marzetti Company (owned by the publicly traded Lancaster Colony Corporation) for $34 million.

The Oleksaks got their first big break after appearing on Shark Tank in 2014 and scoring a $275,000 investment from Lori Greiner. They then appeared on QVC.

"When you're an entrepreneur, you learn to live gut first," the Oleksaks said in a statement to Entrepreneur. "And finding the right business partner is kind of like picking the next member of your family. … With Marzetti, we will have the infrastructure and strategic support to grow Bantam exponentially, while being able to preserve the genuine authenticity that makes Bantam so great."

Related: This Bagel Shop Now Sells Products in 9,000 Stores Thanks to 'Shark Tank' and QVC

Along with a shop in New York City, Bantam's product line includes frozen bagels, pancakes and egg bites, which are sold in more than 9,000 retail locations, including Starbucks. Bantam Bagels' annual net sales are approximately $20 million.

The Oleksaks will stay on board with the company to run day-to-day operations and handle product development at Bantam, Lancaster said. The acquisition closed on Oct. 19.

"Part of what makes Bantam Bagels so great is the energy, authenticity and fire behind Nick, Elyse and the entire Bantam team," Dave Ciesinski, Lancaster Colony's CEO, said in a statement. "In acquiring Bantam Bagels, it's our goal to truly partner with them, enhancing the business where we can, but allowing Bantam and its products to flourish within the Lancaster Colony family. Food is so personal, and keeping Nick and Elyse and their founder's passion involved in the ongoing growth and development of Bantam is incredibly meaningful to us."

Stephen J. Bronner

Entrepreneur Staff

News Director

Stephen J. Bronner writes mostly about packaged foods. His weekly column is The Digest. He is very much on top of his email.

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