High school can be stressful with essays, tests, and extracurricular activities.  But this high school freshman at Loyola High School in Manhattan has more on his plate than most ninth graders do. Jack Greenleaf runs his own banana bread business in NYC and this month, he made his large-scale debut at Smorgasburg in New York.

bread & monkey

During the summer of 2017, only a rising high school freshman, Jack was ready to make his own money, and was eager to establish a food business. He grew up with his mom's homemade banana bread and wanted to share the nostalgic treat with his Battery Park neighborhood, so slowly, bread & monkey was born.

During summer break, entrepreneur Jack baked lots of banana bread. He set up a table near his home, excited to make a profit. By the end of that first day, he had sold 17 loaves and received tons of positive feedback. Jack knew he had a good product on his hands.

Over the course of the summer, Jack continued to make banana bread out of his family kitchen. He would bake for hours in order to fill the demand of his neighbors, friends, family, and fellow banana bread connoisseurs. He even broadened his menu to include pumpkin and chocolate chip banana breads.

Shortly thereafter, he expanded his business and started to sell his breads to local coffee shops (you can buy his homemade banana bread now at Roots Cafe in Park Slope). While Jack's ultimate goal is to open a bakery, he says that he is always looking for more local businesses and farmers markets to sell his banana bread.

In order to really jump-start his company, Jack got his own booth at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, home to almost 30,000 visitors every weekend. 


As any foodie on the East Coast knows, Smorgasburg is the place to be. Smorgasburg has over 100 vendors from across the city selling some of the yummiest, trendiest food, all conveniently located in Williamsburg on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays. 

When applications for booths opened, Jack immediately signed up. The staff at Smorgasburg tried his product and instantly knew it would sell. 

Months before Smorgasburg opened for the season, Jack began to create business plans, update his website, and find a slightly larger kitchen than the one in his house. He even got the opportunity to show his creativity in the kitchen by developing more new spins on his banana bread.

Jack will be selling his bread every Saturday at Smorgasburg. Besides full loaves of his traditional and chocolate chip banana bread, you can purchase two variations of grilled banana bread. The chocolate chip version features chocolate syrup, grilled bananas, and coffee-infused whipped cream, while the original has fresh strawberries, matcha glaze, white chocolate shavings, and whipped cream. If you ever find yourself in Brooklyn, I would highly recommend you check it out.

Jack admits that starting bread & monkey was no easy task, but notes that it has been one of the most rewarding experiences he has had in his 14 years.  His small dream quickly became reality with dedication and hard work, and he wants to inspire other young entrepreneurs and creators to pursue their passions, too.