Knead to succeed
Local restaurant owner appreciates support from National Bank of Arizona
By Debra Gelbart
Wildflower Bread Company opened in 1996 as a single location in Scottsdale; in 2012, a dozen were in operation. By October, guests will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at 14 locations around Arizona. At the heart of Wildflower’s menu of soups, sandwiches, salads and pasta is handmade high-quality, hard-crusted bread.
The company, whose employees are called “Breadheads,” donates bakery leftovers daily to shelters and organizations throughout the state, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Louis Basile, who founded Wildflower with his wife Tracy, says National Bank of Arizona helps him accomplish business and philanthropic goals.
How has National Bank of Arizona assisted you?
NB|AZ was especially helpful when we were looking for equity investors. When we weren’t able to find the right partner, NB|AZ was there for us. Banker Gary Naquin and his NB|AZ team have been incredibly supportive of our business and have been instrumental in helping us become a truly independent local company by lending us the funds we need to grow our business.
What do you value most about your partnership with National Bank of Arizona?
Talking with the bankers about a variety of business-related topics. It’s nice to have a relationship with a bank able to give us feedback and a different perspective from what we see in our own environment. I appreciate NB|AZ’s responsiveness and willingness to share ideas.
What sets NB|AZ apart from other banks?
The ability to understand multiple businesses. With that comes different knowledge bases for us to tap. In the food business, we interact with many different people—suppliers and distributors, for example—and there are lots of opportunities for us to build relationships through the bank’s network of relationships.
What would you tell other small business owners about NB|AZ?
It’s critical for a small business owner to find a great banking relationship. I believe National Bank of Arizona is one of those great relationships. Finding the right person there and educating that person about your business while learning about the services the bank has to offer is part of a win-win, long-term success strategy.