21 May Bro of the Month – Robert Guerrieri of Upper Crust Bagel Company
Tell us about Upper Crust Bagel Company. What did you have to do to start it?
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, I was hired by Mobil Chemical Company. During the 6 years I was with Mobil, I had jobs in Logistics and Marketing and lived in Rochester, NY, Dallas, TX, San Francisco, CA and then back to Rochester. While in a long-term relationship with my future wife and business partner, Amy Guerrieri, I decided to leave corporate America and start a home grown business with Amy. Our first location in Old Greenwich opened in 1994 and over the years we have operated shops in Rye and Darien. Nowadays we have the “original” Upper Crust Bagel Company in Old Greenwich.
What are some of your favorite menu items to prepare and eat? Favorite bagel?
Bagels are my favorite item on the menu. For breakfast I love a fresh baked bagel with our handmade veggie cream cheese. For lunch, my go-to is Hellfire Chicken topped with bacon, cheddar and mayo on an everything bagel.
What does a typical day look like for you? Can you explain a bit about how you make the bagels from scratch. How many do you make on a given day?
I wake up at 4:30 AM and am in the shop a little after 5. Our bakers (Gomez & Ronaldo) have already been there since 3 AM and our manager (Ciprian) arrives at 5. Doors open at 6 every morning. I do everything from deliveries to corporate and residential clients, to customer service, etc.
Bagels are made from scratch daily using premium ingredients: flour, water, yeast, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and a special ingredient. The bagels are kettle-boiled in water and hearth-baked, the old fashioned way. On a busy summer weekend, we produce 4,000-5,000 bagels.
What qualities do you admire in a father?
I am blessed to have the greatest father. He was so supportive of me in my early years, following me to every sporting event or activity. Nowadays, after his retirement from corporate America, he works with us at the shop doing deliveries, welcoming customers, and entertaining the staff.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of having 4 amazing children: Alexa 19, Blake 18, Harley 17 and Logan 15. They are all awesome people with incredible energy, intelligence, athletic ability, work ethic, loyalty and compassion for others.
Family is the most important thing with the Guerrieris. When the kids were growing up, we all ate dinner together every night, but nowadays with everyone’s busy schedules, we look forward to Holiday gatherings where we enjoy all the family’s company.
Amy and I divorced 4 years ago, but we still have a strong relationship because we make everything about the kids and the business. For the past two years, I have been dating a wonderful woman, Jody Phillips.
What sports and/or outdoor activities do you enjoy?
I enjoy watching my children compete in sports. Alexa – softball, Blake – football, Harley – lacrosse, Logan: football & rugby. For me personally, I like to workout daily for a healthy body & mind.
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I listen to a wide variety depending on my mood. I usually like upbeat and top hits.
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
In the past, because of the businesses and 4 kids, we didn’t travel much. Recently I was blessed to vacation in St. Barth’s and it was really amazing.
What do you like about Old Greenwich?
I love the old town colonial feel of OG. It offers so much in a very small space. It’s safe for kids to hang in town and hip enough for adults to enjoy as well. The communities of Old Greenwich and Riverside have been extremely supportive of us.
Our business motto is “Support the community that supports you.” Upper Crust Bagel Company sponsors and supports many organizations, events, schools and charities, including Riverside Family Fun Run, OG Pumpkin Patch, Swim Across America, Sound Beach Fire House, Greenwich Police, OGRCC, Greenwich public and private schools, local sports teams, just to name a few.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and drink of choice?
Anywhere outdoors and Tito’s on the rocks.