The story of Lakewood Bakery is like their best-selling Kaiser roll: steeped in tradition. Over 40 years ago, John and Neil Nuzzi’s parents bought a bakery in Garden City Park, N.Y. Their belief was that by making a superior product and building customers’ trust, they could also build a successful family business.
Their instincts were right. John Nuzzi and his younger brother, Neil, soon thrived in the bakery world. “I knew all the different bread mixes, while Neil knew every delivery route,” recalls John. “All four of us put in long hours building the business.”
In 1989, the Nuzzi parents passed the business to their sons and the bakery expanded –quadrupling in size with a move to a 20,000-square-foot facility in Farmingdale, N.Y.
A modern recipe, powered by Optimum
As a 24/7 operation, Lakewood’s 55 employees count on the unlimited calling capacity and reliability of Optimum Online and Optimum Voice services to maintain daily phone and email contact with 500 customers and vendors—adding up to 250 calls per day. As an Optimum Business customer, the bakery also has access to live support 24/7.
The brothers’ complementary skills have been a recipe for success. Neil directs operations, equipment, shifts, and delivery, while John oversees finance, sales, personnel, and customer relations—a job made easier with the Optimum same-day service guarantee, meaning their internet-powered sales systems will never be down for long.
Nimble features to better serve customers
In an industry where competition is the norm, Lakewood remains committed to its core values: quality, service, and innovation. According to John, success comes from anticipating trends and developing strategies to meet customer needs. Case in point: Unlike conventional bakeries, Lakewood employs a just-in-time baking process allowing them to keep an inventory of pre-baked goods on hand.
“When the demand comes,” says John, “we’re ready for it. Say you place a big order at 3 p.m. and want it by 5 a.m. the next day. Our process enables us to be very responsive within a short window—and get a fresher product to the customer.”
This speed and agility are among Lakewood’s biggest strengths. But keeping productivity at its peak is easy with Optimum Voice and more than 20 business-calling features to help multitask at every turn—a huge asset to customer service. “If we don’t do it right and best each time, customers will look elsewhere,” John says.
Fast and flexible media choices
Lakewood also relies on Optimum TV, which offers the flexibility to choose a TV package that best fits the business needs, another “crucial” element of the bakery’s operations. Weather and traffic are monitored daily, and the team watches the daily activity of the commodity markets, tracking supply and price fluctuations of flour and other key ingredients. “These are all things we rely on to get our goods to our customers in the most efficient and economical way possible,” he says.
Lakewood does a brisk business: Turning out 5,000 to 10,000 Kaiser rolls a day isn’t unusual. To keep up with a growth trend of more than five percent per year, the brothers plan to add another flour silo, cooling conveyor, and third oven.
“When you get used to doing something every day, you don’t always stop and think about it being special,” he says. “But all our efforts are validated when everyone tells us we do a good job and when they visit our facility and think it’s something pretty amazing.”
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