One bagel at a time. That’s the philosophy of a Huntington High School Virtual Enterprise business class that has developed a company called Poppy, which converts unwanted and stale bagels into bagel chips.
The class meets daily in a sleek new classroom on the lower level of the building. Guided by teacher Paige Furman, the group of teenagers who comprise the company’s team are simply ingenious.
Junior John Panos is the CEO of his Virtual Enterprise class company.
The new full-year, one credit business course is available to juniors and seniors. “Virtual Enterprise is a simulated business that is set-up and run by students to prepare them for working in a real business environment,” according to the high school’s course bulletin.
The executives for Mrs. Furman’s class include John Panos (chief executive officer), Yaidelis Acevedo (chief operating officer), Emerson Forbes (vice president-administration), Graham Young (chief financial officer), Riva Bergman (vice president-design/IT), Natalie Gonzalez (vice president-marketing) and Madelyn Reed (vice president-human resources).
The class also includes Dickson Araujo-Amaya, Ryan Baker, Reid Bellistri, Mia Breitbarth, Madison Buchholtz, William Burton, Matthew Girimonti, Noe Gomez-Calderon, Justin Italiano, Madison Lange, Michael Mathews, Joseph Mead, RJ Moreno, Thomas Peer, Manrobin Serpas Henriquez, Nicholas Thompson and Michael Wright.
“In the course we create an actual company where we compete with other schools internationally in trade shows, presentations, etc.,” Mr. Bellistri explained. “Poppy is a bagel chip company where we take stale bagels and reverse engineer them into bagel chips.
Visit the company’s website at . Poppy’s Instagram page can be found at .
The impetus behind the company makes perfect sense to the teenagers developing it. “Bagels are wasted every day and in order to stop this we use stale bagels and turn them into tasty bagel chips,” Ms. Gonzalez said.
The company’s motto or slogan is: “A Chip Off The Old Block.” Class members are working hard every day on the company. There’s a conference and exhibition at LIU Post on January 9 and a youth business summit and trade show at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on April 15-17.
“Here at Poppy we are dedicated to reducing the massive amount of bagels wasted every day in America,” states the company’s website. “Bagels are enjoyed by many, but preserved by few; roughly 50 percent of all food produced in America is thrown away. That’s 120-trillion pounds! We are committed to stopping this by turning stale old bagels into something new and tasty. After due contemplation, we decided on…. bagel chips. With a major ingredient virtually free of cost and a factory willing to make our bagel chips, our grassroots company is both willing and able to grow into something truly special.”
The Virtual Enterprise class is one of the highlights of Ms. Bergman school day. “Our company is so creative and I’m so happy to be a part of it,” she said. “Poppy gives bagels another chance by using stale bagels at the end of the day and reverse engineering them into bagel chips in three different flavors; plain, poppy and everything. I cannot wait to see where our ideas take us!”
Every Poppy team member is all-in on efforts to make the virtual company a success. “Our devoted staff is working hard to ensure that our company helps to alleviate the amount of U.S food waste and that we use this soon-to-be garbage to make something so remarkably fresh and profitable,” according to the company website. “This is our mission and we will pursue it with tenacity until our goals our completed...one bagel at a time.”