A veteran baker whose family operated a baking company for nearly a half century in Zimbabwe, Peter Lobel came to New York, NY, and opened a bakery in 1981. He then moved the bakery to the TriBeCa area of the city in 1988. Throughout the years, Tribeca Oven grew first by supplying the Big Apple’s restaurants, hotels and specialty retailers with fresh baked goods delivered daily. In 1997, the bakery moved again to Brooklyn, NY, as demand for its products continued to expand. Then in 2004, the specialty wholesale bakery relocated to Carlstadt, NJ, and shifted its portfolio to frozen par-baked breads and rolls sold to in-store bakeries and food service chains across the nation.

Today, Mr. Lobel remains chairman of the business, and Marc Essenfeld, Tribeca’s CEO, and George Erasmus, executive vice-president of innovation, head the day-to-day operations.

“He’s our mentor,” Mr. Essenfeld said. “He has given George and me a great piece of clay to build with, and he guides us, coaches us and provides us with the opportunity to grow the business. He’s not working on the floor or on a line. Rather, he just tells George and me, ‘Go play,’ and we take it from there.”