From Bagel Bites to Butter Buns: The Benefit of Owning your Manufacturing

The founder of Poppy’s and now bread-connoisseur is back at it again with a new line of Butter Hoagies. Grant Sarvis started his journey 5 years ago making delicious bagel bites after his craving for a delicious, on-the-go bagel could not be satisfied. They have since expanded into making bread. Now, Grant is preparing to launch his newest style of bread, bringing his delicious Pop’s butter hoagies to stores near you. 

Grant’s love for bagels and bread started at a young age. Growing up, Grant’s Poppy (grandfather) would host family brunches. While the menu would always change, Poppy’s homemade bagels were always a staple of the meal. Fast forward 20 years and Grant was on the hunt for fresh bagel bites in DC. Grant quickly realized that there were no bagel bites that met the texture and flavor standards he grew up with. Along with his co-founder, Julia, Grant developed his own bagel bite. Together, they created Poppy’s Stuffed Bagels, the perfect “convenient snack on the go.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, Poppy’s took a significant hit. With coffee shops closing and retail sales slowing, Grant was forced to hit the drawing boards and brainstorm a new food product that matched the quickly evolving preferences of consumers. Grant was on the hunt for a product that customers wanted and would match his passion for everything dough and baked goods. He was hitting home on one of Union Kitchen’s core values, Make Things People Want. 

Grant and the Union Kitchen team landed on the brioche butter buns. Through detailed research and study of the bread-making process, Grant perfected his brioche buns and prepared them for launch in Union Kitchen stores. Pop’s Butter Buns were born. And thank goodness they were. Since their release, Pop’s Butter Buns have sold like wildfire in Union Kitchen stores. Every breakfast sandwich at a Union Kitchen comes sandwiched in a Pop’s Butter Bun. 

Grant’s newfound obsession with bread is paying off. The Poppy’s team is selling pallets of Pop’s Butter Buns every week. Now, Grant is looking to tap into the popularity of his Butter Buns, making new iterations of the popular bread. Through R&D, Grant has developed his latest addition to his bread arsenal, this time in the form of a hoagie. 

Hoagies first originated in the late 1920s when Philadelphian jazz musician, Al De Palma, called his friends “hogs” for eating a sandwich so big. De Palma would go on to open a chain of sub shops where he sold his infamous hoagies. Now, Grant is putting his own twist on the traditional hoagie. While Grant’s Butter Buns are great for a breakfast sandwich or burgers, the Butter Hoagies are the perfect match for hot subs and cold cut sandwiches. 


butter hoagies

The R&D stage can be a major roadblock for many food businesses as they look to scale and perfect recipes. Food manufacturers need to figure out how to create a product that tastes delicious and lasts long enough to travel from manufacturer to distributor to stores to consumers. Grant leveraged his previous experience with Poppy’s Bagel Bites and Pop’s Butter Buns to navigate the process of idea, recipe, product stabilization, and finally commercialization. 

Grant’s ability to research and develop new products has been vital to his food business’ long-term success. Expanding from bagel bites to butter buns and now hoagies has not been an easy feat. By understanding and learning what his consumers want, Grant has been able to tweak his products to find product-market fit each time. In particular, Grant has identified his consumer’s pain points and created products that directly meet their needs. His Bagel Bites turn a boring and bland breakfast into an exciting, convenient, and flavorful meal. The Butter Buns make every sandwich a conversation and the Butter Hoagies are taking lunch to the next level.  

Pop’s Butter Hoagies will be sold in Union Kitchen stores. That means you can pair your favorite Union Kitchen sandwiches with a Pop’s Butter Hoagie! The turkey avo club, Italian hoagie, and meatball sub just got that much better.