5 & Dime Bagels – baking up business success

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It is not every day that a billionaire hipster like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey casually drops into your store. But that is just one of the reasons Melbourne’s 5 & Dime Bagel café has quickly gained attention in one of Australia’s most competitive restaurant markets.

After having worked for numerous kitchens throughout Melbourne, New Jersey native and bagel connoisseur, Zev Forman, quickly realised that the city was lacking a quality bagel shop.

He took the issue into his own hands, opening his own bagel café based on traditional cooking methods. Located in the Melbourne CBD, his store is in the heart of one of Australia’s leading foodster destinations.

Unlike most bagel makers in Australia, 5 & Dime’s bagels are boiled and baked rather than steamed and are made from high-quality ingredients sourced locally. The business offers a range of bagels filled with a rotating selection of cream cheeses and fillings, along with cured meats and vegan options.

“Most places just steam their bagels because it is cheaper and easier, but it doesn’t give the same texture or flavour. We use a long fermentation process with minimal yeast to enhance our texture and flavour. Many other bagels produced here and in America are done with tons of yeast and processed sugar,” Forman said.

5 & Dime has quickly gained a following since its opening in 2015, currently supplying around 100 other outlets as well as supplying local farmers markets on weekends. As well as Dorsey’s visit last year, the café earned a mention in Good Food’s guide of Melbourne’s top 50 cafes for 2016, and has been rated in the top 10 by TripAdvisor.

Expansion plans

With rapid business growth came the need for expansion. However, Forman did not have the funds on hand to serve up more customers by expanding his premises.

After talking to the big banks and finding their processes complicated, he turned to specialist small business lender Prospa. Within just 24 hours he had the necessary funds in place to get the expansion process under way.

As a time-poor small-business owner, Forman needed a loan process that was quick and easy, and getting a loan from a bank would have taken “much, much longer” he said.

Now employing 16 staff, Forman sees the potential to become even bigger. He wants to use the funds to add another six seats to his restaurant accommodate more customers. “We hope get bigger over the next few years,” he explains.

With TripAdvisor reviews like “superb, New York-style bagels” and “good enough to go back,” 5 & Dime looks to have won a place in the hearts of Melbournians.

Many businesses like 5 & Dime’s have a customer base ready to support an expansion but do not have enough funds or cash flow to make it happen. Prospa can help, with a business loan that is tailored to suit your needs.

Brought to you by Anna Fitzgerald, Prospa

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