If you haven’t tried Bullfrog Bagels yet, you are missing out on probably the greatest circular creations since circles themselves. Maybe that’s a little hyperbole, but trust us, give them a go. Everyday consumers can get their fix at the pop-up shop on H Street, but they also supply cafes and restaurants through orders via BlueCart.
We sat down with Operations Manager Ross Perkins to find out why he got into the business, and what he thinks about the future of food.
Where did you grow up? My dad was in the military, so I grew up all over the place. I did a lot of traveling as a kid. A little everywhere.
When did you know you wanted to be a business owner in the food industry? I came to the realization a few years ago. I served in Malawi in the Peace Corps and then worked in Banking in South Asia and then in Government Consulting in Washington DC. As a hobby I was cooking, and eventually, I was motivated by my partner to start my first “Mess Hall” food incubator in NE DC. I’m an operations manager, so I do everything related to systems associated with the business.
What gets you up in the morning? The idea that I have an actual product to sell to people. I like the tangible aspect to the industry. When I was in finance I didn’t have that tangible aspect to my job. Now I am able to give someone an actual product that brightens their day.
What is your favorite office tool/aid? iPhone 6. I am married to my phone. I do all of my business on my phone. Real time data, emails, customers responses, interaction with co-workers, etc.
What is your favorite food to work with? I love our house-smoked salmon. It’s beautifully delicious. Texture, flavor and taste.
What is your favorite wine/beer/drink? I really like rosé, because of the hot weather.
What are you favorite restaurants in Washington DC? Izakaya Seki and Rose’s Luxury
Who in the food world do you most admire? Aaron Silverman – Rose’s Luxury. Aaron is about my age, grew up in the area, and found his love for cooking early on. After college he worked in consulting and ended up working in different kitchens in NYC and the region and eventually opened Rose’s Luxury.
What’s the most difficult part of your job? It’s physically demanding. Long days. On my feet most of the day. Early days, late nights.
What would make your life easier in your company? If we had a bigger kitchen my life would be easier. Space is a major constraint right now.
What do you most appreciate about chefs/customers? Their patience. We are a start-up which means we are learning as we are growing. That is something I appreciate very much.
What do you wish chefs/customers could do to make your life easier? I wish every customer was READY when they approached the register.
What do you love about technology? What do you hate about technology? Integration of technologies. I like making decisions based on data. The bad part is that I need a battery with me at all times because I’m always on my phone.
What do you wish people understood about your profession? It gets a bad wrap – there is a stigma attached to this industry. This industry is full of passionate people who were lawyers, analysts, consultants, etc. This is an industry full of people that are passionate. It’s not just about being a last resort for people.
Where do you see the food industry going in the future? People love the idea of going into the local grocery store and having a personal connection to the product. It’s going to be more and more local, with people looking for a personal connection to what’s on the shelf.
What is your goal in your profession? I would love to have multiple outlets with amazing products, created by great people.