The Wholesale Business: A Collaborative Approach
Owning a bakery is a dream for some people; for others, the vision continues beyond that first cookie sold. For the Co-Owners of Brooklyn, New York’s The Good Batch, Anna Gordon and Steven Hartong, the question isn’t the next type of cookie to sell; it’s what’s the next market expansion. The global market for bakeries & confectionaries reached $993.64 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%. Still, expanding a brand beyond one local bakery is challenging enough in today’s economy, but if there is a demand for treats stretched past the lines at the Brooklyn Flea, it’s time to grow the business. The innovators will always find a way.
One way Gordon and Hartong found to boost the market potential for their diverse selection of baked goods, including ice cream sandwiches, was through the wholesale business. Rather than expend capital on more retail locations, Gordon and Hartong sell their cookies and ice cream sandwiches to third-wave coffee shops through a successful and growing wholesale business.
Gordon and Hartong joined host Barbara Castiglia on The Main Course to discuss utilizing the collaborative nature of the wholesale business to grow The Good Batch brand. In the company’s early days, Gordon and Hartong used rental/ghost kitchens to keep up with the demand before building a flagship main bakery in Brooklyn.
When thinking of the wholesale end of the business, Hartong said Gordon tries to create “super-premium products that would complement the highest quality coffee products” sold in these third-wave venues.
Castiglia, Gordon, and Hartong’s conversation included the following:
• Navigating and changing a business during and after the pandemic
• Creating a successful business plan to expand an operation beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar bakery approach
• Current trends in the bakery market
“One exciting thing is, I know when we started the markets, it was at the beginning of being able to get locally milled flour and heirloom grains,” Hartong said. “That is a whole area of the industry that is just budding, and it’s fascinating. That’s an area we’re looking to explore in the future.”
“Also, visually, there’s a lot in the pastry world right now,” Gordon added. “There’s a lot of fresh edible flowers being used, and that’s something that I’m being inspired by.”
About Anna and Steven
Anna Gordon is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She founded The Good Batch with Steven Hartong in March 2010. Steven Hartong holds a Doctor of Law (J.D.) from Brooklyn Law School. Gordon handles the baking; Hartong handles the books. They combine their skills and efforts to develop additional retail sales opportunities, new wholesale accounts, and revenue streams.