After a few Starbucks outlets in New York City tested demand for tiny cream cheese–stuffed bagel balls this summer, the bite-size dough globes from Bantam Bagels have rolled into about 515 stores in the city, as well as a some locations in Philadelphia and Indianapolis.
To grow sales, the giant coffee chain's strategy includes increasing sales of foods like sandwiches, pastries, and meal boxes, which are now about 19% of sales. There are more than 12,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S. Bantam hopes to expand into more of them yet.
For a better sense of scale, this is how big a bagel ball is. Bantam Bagel co-founder Nick Oleksak has said the idea came to him in a dream.
Bantam, a business started in 2013 with a small storefront in Manhattan's West Village, also sells its products online and has a catering business that delivers to offices and events like weddings.
The market for bagel balls is bigger than you might think. Bantam saw a bump in sales after being featured on Shark Tank in January. So far this year, it has sold more than 2 million bagel balls, with sales of over $2.1 million. As it develops corporate partnerships, Bantam also began offering its bagel balls on Delta flights out of LaGuardia Airport about a month ago.