When discussing success stories related to small business it is easy to skim over the rough stuff and go straight to the good parts. While it is good for motivation it’s important to keep in mind that success is rare where there are no challenges – you need to be mentally prepared to take plenty of beating before you succeed.
The story behind the successful business in this article started way back in 1978 when the founder John Lupo III – then only 24 opened a Mr. Donutfranchise in Maryland. The franchise store struggled for a few months and it was not long before Lupo started to prepare to make an exit before things got any worse. You should probably also note that the agreement that saw the Mr. Do nut shop established was long term – 20 years and even making a clean exit was beginning to look difficult. Lupo gathered the courage to write the headquarters and state his case and he was given 24 hours to pull down the signs.
However while the Donut business may have been unsuccessful Lupo was not one to give up easily – he had observed that the venue was ideal for a neighbourhood bakery. Just a day after pulling down the signs he put up a new one – this time Grandma’s Bakery. The reason being Lupo strongly believed that the limited product lines serving Donuts alone was the reason his initial efforts bore no fruit – he widened the product line to include bread, cakes sweet rolls and cookies.
Donuts still remained an important product in the bakery and initial orders from an inn serving breakfast gradually grew to 10 dozen. By mid-1980’s this now defunct inn was just one stop on the delivery route for Grandma’sbakery truck – he was now serving convenience stores, hotelsand other businesses in the metropolitan area. Since he made the decision to open the bakery Lupo’s business posted a steady growth rate of 11% annually.
In 1986 Lupo became a certified master baker having learned the trade from baker technicians. In 1992 the business had outgrown the 2000 sq. ft. space it operated from and moved to alarger 6000 sq. ft. lot – within three years he was already beginning work on the first of three other lotsthatwould follow thereafter. Today the facility continues to grow and hastripled in size. In 2008 the business also acquired an additional offsite retail outlet where Lupo sells soups, sandwiches and 92 flavours of vintage soda. Today the business has two external retail outlets with the third being located at the company’s main production facility. Lupo does significant business selling frozen baked products to major suppliers in the area and also has managed to establish a catering business that provides baked products to several major organizations in the area –impressive for shop that was almost shut down.
An executive who has purchased products for his firm for years from Lupo describes him as “very persistent”. He furthersays that Lupo’s success is due to his nimbleness in adapting changing business demands and his moves to diversify his product range.