Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Yoss.
Michael, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began my baking career in my father’s bakery back in New York. My father put me and my brother to work when each of us turned 13. I would go to work with my dad at 9:30 pm on Friday nite and work till about 9 am the following morning and then do it again on Saturday nite till Sunday morning. My dad had the quintessential NY wholesale bread and roll bakery. I worked there till I was 16 or 17. My father kept that bakery till 1973.
When I finished Ohio State University in 1974, my folks said that they were going to open a bagel bakery and I can be a partner if I wanted. Since nothing else looked good at the time, I agreed. My stipulation was that I would not go back to NY. My mother’s sister and family had moved to Atlanta in 1973, and after visits, we decided to move here.
In 1974, we opened The Royal Bagel and had it for 23 years. When we closed it in 1997, we were called “An Atlanta Institution” and had many articles, tv segments, and stories done on us. My parents retired, and I went on to do other things.
After a while, I, with a partner, opened Southern Health Risk Management, a mobile ultrasound company testing seniors for stroke, abdominal aneurysms, osteoporosis and other ills. The only problem with it was that we opened it in July of 2001… just before 9/11. The business did not survive much after that.
While I was out and about, I had met an old wholesale customer of The Royal Bagel. They used to buy my cheesecakes. He said that if I got back into baking the cakes, his boss, my old customer would buy them. When I got home, I had told my wife. She said to start baking!! I had taken a small mixer and some other equipment when I had closed the bakery, so, in 2002, I began baking cheesecakes in my home kitchen.
I got a few customers (the one who said that they would buy still hasn’t). Business grew, and I had burned out my home oven. I had to find somewhere else to bake. Bill Greenwood of Greenwood’s on Greene Street in Roswell, was an old friend and he told me to use his restaurant to bake. I did that for a while and outgrew that.
Another friend, Alan Freinkel, owned Brooklyn Bagel in Alpharetta and told me to use his place. At this point, I was doing my mixing and storage in my garage and shlepping batter to Alan and baking there. The cakes would come out of the oven, I would load my car and take them home and store them in my freezer in the backyard.
The product line was expanding at this point into cakes and pies. It was becoming no longer feasible to continue like this. I went looking for a location. I was told to look at a location to rent on Cole Ct in Norcross. I went and found the location. As it turned out, the location was not the one I was looking for, but it had been a bakery before and was for sale. It had some equipment in it that I could use and it made great sense to buy rather than rent. I bought the location in 2005 and have been here since.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s never a smooth road. Cash flow, loss of major customers, etc. made (make) it a stressful life.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Yoss Baking – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Yoss Baking is a wholesale dessert company. We specialize in delicious cakes, pies, bars, and contract baking products. Our customers include white clothe restaurants with plastic table pizza places. Delta Airlines had our carrot cake on their first class international flights for 5 years.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I would like to retire.
- Address: 2910-B Cole Ct Norcross, GA 30071
- Website: yossbaking.com
- Phone: 678-966-9995
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org