Alex Brandwein - Brandwein's Bagels

Welcome to Owner Operated: Conversations with Small Business Millionaires.

This week, I spoke with Alex Brandwein, owner of Brandwein's Bagels in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Listen to this week's show on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts or Stitcher.

Alex started Brandwein's after a successful 8-year career in investment banking and private equity in New York City. He hit a breaking point and transitioned to studying for his MBA at UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Alex and I met through a mentorship program at Carolina and have been good friends ever since. Listen for how I reacted when Alex first asked me, "What do you think of me starting a bagel shop?"

We covered:

  • Making the jump from a job in banking to owning a small business
  • The grind and behind-the-scenes work that most don't see
  • Alex's schedule when launching the shop (hint: sleep took a backseat for a while)
  • Avoiding burnout and keeping up with your mental health as a business owner
  • What to ask potential employees, how to create a culture of fun
  • Backing out of the business to allow it to grow
  • Why "Work life balance" isn't real
  • Course-correcting for success and happiness

Alex lives by one of Teddy Roosevelt's his famous sayings I found insightful:

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” - Teddy Roosevelt

You can listen to Owner Operated on iTunes, Spotify, Google, or Stitcher.

Thank you for listening and shout-out to everyone who's given me feedback on the podcast and left reviews on iTunes. I can't thank you all enough.

It's all about those 1% improvements every day that improve the show and make it super rewarding. I'm looking forward to sharing more conversations with you.

Lastly - if you're in the Triangle, you have to check out Brandwein's Bagels in Chapel Hill. They're by far my favorite bagels in the Triangle. I usually go with the classic Egg & Cheese.

See you next Wednesday.

- Jonah

Jonah Pollone