Pastry chef Greg Mindel was once a deli boy, an apprentice for famous chefs, and a sleepless croissant maniac - but now he’s the founder and owner of Neighbor Bakehouse, a flourishing bakery in San Francisco’s Dogpatch. How did working for free build his network? What did he need to get a bank loan, even though the bakery business was still young? He also explains why he sacrificed sleep for free warehouse rent, what qualities make a good leader, and which special ingredient will make your business stand out in the competition.

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  1. The work speaks for itself.

  2. Don’t complain about doing the work you want to do.

  3. Positivity can overcome pain.

  4. Build experience.

  5. Be willing to work for free to learn.

  6. If you can show a couple years of growth, someone will want to invest in you.

  7. You have to make more than a few thousand croissants to really master it.

  8. If you don’t have your own space, rent or borrow it.

  9. The quality of the work will open all the doors.



Neighbor Bakehouse in San Francisco's Dogpatch

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Thomas Keller

Stephane Cheramy


What is a pop-up restaurant?

Tips on how to start a pop-up

A few Entrepreneur articles about delegating tasks:

"Learn When to Delegate and When to Micromanage"

"7 Ways to Go From a Boss to a Leader"

"7 Rules for Entrepreneurs to Delegate Effectively"

Articles about Greg & Neighbor Bakehouse

SFGate, "Neighbor Bakehouse: San Francisco’s Best Croissants"

Eater SF, "Neighbor Bakehouse Has Gone Brick-and-Mortar in the Dogpatch"

Eater SF, "13 Killer Croissants in San Francisco"

MISE Magazine, "The Anatomy of a Modern Patisserie"


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