How do you build a world-class bakery in a village of just six thousand people? A bakery so popular it creates traffic jams with people from across the country wanting to get in? You break all the rules and create your own business model.
Marc Serrao shares the story of how he started Oakmont Bakery, his radically different philosophy, and why even if you show up minutes before closing, you’ll find his store stocked full of fresh-baked goods, instead of empty and picked over.
Welcome to Episode 284 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
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How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
3 Insights from Marc
1. If you can excel at many things, you appeal to many audiences!
One of the reasons that Marc has been successful at growing Oakmont Bakery to where it is today is that they didn’t just stay in one market. Many bakeries just make donuts or just make cakes, but Oakmont is intentional about doing many different things really well. This causes them to compete with any “niche” store that challenges them.
One of the biggest flaws with just picking one niche, like donuts, is that people might choose somewhere like Oakmont over you because they have high-quality donuts, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches. A store with great variety can beat out a store with only a great niche product.
2. How did Marc keep his employees bought in?
Marc has learned that it’s really important that we actually listen to our people. When we listen to our people, we learn what they are passionate about. When Marc has done this, it has lead to hiring and moving great people into roles that are a much better fit for their passions and giftings. This is how you take an employee as a high school kid making minimum wage, and turn him into a life-long loyal employee.
If you can take your people and value them and their giftings you stand a much better chance of turning them into solid and loyal employees. Marc actually learned this from his church. Now, anytime he is looking to hire a new cake decorator or a service manager, he looks inside his organization first, before looking outside. He also thinks that Christian business leaders should pay people a fair value.
3. How can you stay fresh as a leader?
Continuous learning is key for any leader. We never arrive. Marc is super intentional about always learning from other organizations and even other markets. When he first started Oakmont, he wanted to make it better that just a bakery, so Marc traveled to new high-end restaurants in New York and copied those interior designs in his bakery.
Another way he stayed fresh was by learning from the best organizations in the bakery market. As he built relationships with leaders running larger organizations than his own, they helped him take the right next steps for his own organization. This advice has helped Oakmont grow into the thriving organization it is today.
Quotes from Episode 284
Over the years, we made some pretty bold moves when the church was struggling and really needed our financial help. Looking back, I think God blessed us a lot more than we blessed the church. @OakmontBakery Click To Tweet
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Next Episode: Christy Wright
Christy Wright became an entreprenuer at age 23 and now coaches business leaders full time in addition to podcasting and speaking on some of the biggest stages in the world. Christy shares some remarkable insights on the fears most entrepreneurs face, overcoming them, how to get started, and how to price yourself and your product in the market. Plus, she talks about how to respond when people want things cheaper or simply for free, and how to say no, nicely.
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