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SHOP PENN Get to Know: Spread Bagelry's Jamie Schrotberger
SHOP PENN is more than a destination for an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants set in a uniquely beautiful university setting but also includes a dynamic group of owners and operators who pour their heart and soul into these businesses. In this new series, we will be introducing you to an active member of the SHOP PENN family through our Q&A spotlight.
Spread Bagelry is one of the go-to breakfast spots in University City, featuring Montreal-style bagels and sandwiches, and one of the faster growing restaurants in the city of Philadelphia. CEO Jamie Schrotberger took over the company this past year and has overseen the restaurants’ continued rise within Philly. We sat down with Jamie to talk about his experience in the food industry, his time with Spread and his family.
Q) When did you assume your current position as CEO of Spread Bagelry?
JS) I took over as CEO of Spread Bagelry in late October 2019.
Q) How did you get started and what led you to where you are today?
JS) I spent 20+ years analyzing public restaurant and retail growth companies. I was able to learn best practices from some of the best restauranteurs as well as a few things not to do. I transitioned to an operating role a few years ago as the CFO of Ideation Hospitality, the owners of the former Garces Group.
I moved into the role of CEO at Spread to take the company to the next level in terms of operating structure and drive responsible growth.
Q) What motivates you to do what you do?
JS) Running a restaurant is simple in theory and hard in practice. Being able to put structure in place so that our staff can focus on the customer experience and delight our customers is extremely rewarding to see.
Q) What do you find to be the most rewarding part about your job? The most challenging?
JS) I believe the answer to both questions are one in the same. The most important job is to lead with transparency. In being transparent with changing structure allows our staff to understand not only what we should do differently but why it is important. Seeing our group adapt to change is very rewarding. Understanding that process change takes time is likely the most challenging for me but also the thing I need to consistently remind myself.
Q) Do you have any key mentors or people who have deeply influenced you?
JS) Undoubtedly, Ron Shaich at Panera was the most instrumental to me. He showed me that the mission and values of a brand will holistically be the best guide for an organization.
Q) How would people in your life describe you?
JS) An optimist with a strong moral compass.
Q) What is your proudest accomplishment?
JS) In life? My kids. In my career? Hands down being very early on donating food to the thousands of nurses and doctors on the front line at CHOP, HUP, Penn Presbyterian, Jefferson, Temple, Lankenau, and Bryn Mawr. I was extremely proud that our staff all rallied together from literally day one to help those taking care of us.
Q) What is your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
JS) I love the dichotomy of all of Philly’s neighborhoods. Each has their own positive attributes but with a very distinct vibe. That’s why we ingrain ourselves in many of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods with a Spread Bagelry that echoes the feel of that neighborhood.
Favorite Day of the Week: Monday! The day to think long term
Place You Most Want To Travel: Cambodia and Thailand
Favorite Holiday: Christmas…to see my kids faces light up
Cake or Pie: Definitely Pie. Strawberry Rhubarb to be exact
Popular Trend You Follow: Consuming products with ingredients I can actually pronounce
Last Book Read: Principles by Ray Dalio
SHOP PENN Business You Frequent (Besides Your Own): Saxby’s
Hot Drink or Cold: Cold
Music or Podcast: Music
At a movie, Candy or Popcorn: Popcorn!