Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Houston Community College helps Three Brothers Bakery Succeed

May 3, 2016

Although Three Brothers Bakery has been open over 65 years, major growth did not occur until this decade under the leadership of Robert and Janice Jucker.  Obstacles are looked at as opportunities and never disasters.

When Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area in 2008, it ripped the roof off the bakery and destroyed most of the interior, forcing the store to close for nine months.  The team was paid; they rebuilt and reopened. When insurance was not paying at the appropriate level for lost revenues, they convinced the insurance to pay 20% more than previous year versus the 20% less they wanted to pay. A SBA Disaster Recovery loan for $500,000 was procured and paid off in 4.5 years.

Upon reopening there were 27 employees versus 70 today – a 160% increase in job growth. Before 2010, there was no career path at the bakery, but now there is cross training and opportunities to move up, have a career, increase pay and have a full benefits package – healthcare, 401K with employer matching, paid time off and other employee perks. Additionally, today, you can find women across all sectors of the bakery, including the production area, which was historically male-dominated.

In the past 5 years, the bakery’s revenue growth has seen a 170% increase enabling the ability to have the robust benefits package.  Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Houston Community College showed Janice the importance of the team and doing whatever can be done to keep them happy and wanting a career at the bakery.

As they rebuilt after Ike, Janice recognized the opportunity to reestablish their brand in a competitive marketplace, and realized the power of PR and marketing. The bakery was soon recognized with many awards and accolades validating its work, and now finds itself in the media weekly. Capitalizing on a major accolade from Country Living Magazine they launched a wildly successful mail-order pie business- growing approximately 2900% since 2010.

Their Pumpecapple Piecake was a viral holiday dessert in 2014 bumping the bakery up to national recognition.  Most recently, the bakery was honored to be included in Inc. Magazine’s list of America’s 5000 fastest-growing privately held companies, as well as in the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City’s (ICIC) list of 100 fastest-growing urban businesses.

Through the growth of the Braeswood production facility/store, Three Brothers Bakery was able to open a second location in the Memorial area and followed the 10,000 Small Businesses growth plan and opened a third store in 2014 on Washington Avenue. In 2015, the bakery flooded during the historic Memorial Day floods. Again, all employees were paid, the team cleaned up, regrouped, reopened and negotiated successfully to be paid for all losses.

The family wants to see the bakery continue to grow, and plans to relocate the production facility in the next few years because it sits on the bayou.  The move will finally allow the bakery the ability to grow dramatically with a new, larger facility to make many more sweet memories.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing access to education, capital and business support services. Nationally, 69% of 10,000 Small Businesses participants reported increasing revenues and 48% of participants reported creating jobs six months after program completion. Additionally, 74% of participants reported increasing revenues and 56% of participants reported creating jobs eighteen months after program completion. Locally, there have been over 400 graduates from the program hosted at Houston Community College. 

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