How Bob Schepps Makes Mornings Memorable

All in the Family

“It’s a people business and I’m a people person. I get to speak to my customers. I make them breakfast. I just saw a customer yesterday I’ve known for 30 years.” Growing up working behind the counter of his father’s deli, Bob developed a deep appreciation for the customers he met and an uncanny ability to befriend every patron at a very young age – something that he now embodies in his own business. “Every order we do is special because someone woke up that morning and chose us.” Over the decades, Bob’s customers have become so much more than just that. “I call my wholesale customers my bagel family.”

 

Before Bob began serving the entire East Hampton community at his business Hampton Bagels, he was trying to find a way to spend time with another smaller, yet even more beloved community: his family. With a young son and daughter, Bob needed a schedule that better aligned with fatherhood, yet his job as an assistant manager at a grocery store was preventing him from having that. “When my kids got old enough to attend school full-time, I asked for one regular weekend day off to spend time with them. My boss told me no, and at that moment I realized it was time for me to have my own business.”

 

People First

Hampton Bagels, now almost 20 years old, has allowed Bob to spend the time with his son and daughter that his previous job did not. Not only could Bob finally have his weekend day off, but he was able to be around his family even while working. “My kids grew up in the store.” His business also provides local jobs to 13 individuals. During a slow tourist season, Bob turned to Accion for financing after a referral from Capital One; his loan created a cash flow cushion that allowed him to hold onto all employees.  “Accion treated me like a person. I like treating people like people. People first.”

 

Passing the Torch

Now with his two children fully grown and long out of the house, Bob is busy training a new apprentice: his 11-year old grandson Gabriel, who has decided he wants to be a bagel baker when he grows up. “He comes to work with me and I give him odd jobs to help him learn more about the business.” After more than 30 years, Bob still hasn’t lost the drive to ensure he’s providing a memorable and delicious morning to the residents of the community he serves. “I’m a doer. I will always leave things better than the way I found it.”