Michal Prevor, founder of Babka Bailout, with a batch of her Cereal Milk Babka Balls.
GBE: Tell us the story of how Babka Bailout started.
Michal: It's no secret that the pandemic put a lot of people out of work and into scary uncertain situations. In May 2020, my housekeeper told me she was having trouble paying her rent (having lost most of her other jobs) and was going to food banks for groceries. I couldn't sleep at night knowing that Carmen was struggling.
My husband has always been a passionate baker and during the pandemic we were baking for friends and family to keep ourselves busy. Our friends raved about the challah and babkas. The morning after Carmen told me about her situation, I decided we would bake a few batches to sell, giving her the money to help cover rent and necessities. In that moment, Babka Bailout was born.
GBE: What’s the meaning behind the name Babka Bailout?
Michal: We came up with the name because Carmen was not eligible for government assistance. We decided our babkas would bail her out.
GBE: How has Babka Bailout evolved, and where is it going next?
Michal: We started baking in my home kitchen. Now we are about to open our own brick and mortar location. We have grown our wholesale as well as our retail business. Our babkas are shipped nationwide and can be purchased in coffee shops and some gourmet markets.
GBE: What would you do differently today if you were starting this company over?
Michal: I would not wait until my oven door fell off to look for a commercial kitchen. Taking steps to grow the business instead of reacting to a difficult situation is smarter.
GBE: What has been the most surprising aspect of starting this business?
Michal: The most surprising aspect has been the warm embrace of the community around us. Everyone is a cheerleader, supporter, and babkas bring customers happiness.
GBE: What are some of the challenges you’re working through as you continue to grow, and what helps you overcome them?
Michal: Finding employees has been challenging. Kitchen work is physically grueling and it isn’t for everyone.
My family’s support has been key in helping me overcome challenges. Also, the gratification of a happy customer and good reviews always keeps us motivated to improve and provide the best product.
GBE: What are some of your favorite ways Babka Bailout has given back to others?
Michal: Babka Bailout was started to help a mom in need. We have continued our mission to help where and when we can, making donations to Bakers Against Racism and sending money to help families in Honduras, where Carmen is from. We have also donated to Welcome Home Jersey City (an organization that helps refugees). Babka Bailout will always give back.
GBE: What’s the big vision for this company?
Michal: The big vision for Babka Bailout is to be able to offer our delicious products in more locations, and at the same time do good in these communities.
GBE: We hear from a lot of women who are interested in starting a business but are nervous to make the leap. What advice would you give them to take the first step?
Michal: Starting a business is an all consuming endeavor. If you are ready to be consistent and work hard you are ready. You don't have to know all the answers as long as you are persistent and a problem solver you will figure it out as you go.
Now that everyone’s incredibly inspired and hungry, please share where can they find you to learn more and order some babkas:
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