case study

gussy’s bagels

strategy | social media | pos-integration

strategy | social media
| pos-integration

establishing a digital identity to create a community around artisan bagel offerings

I didn’t know this was how bagels were supposed to taste


gussy’s bagels first approached sweb on a mission: to change the caliber of bagel & deli offerings in the pittsburgh market. when opening their doors in the oakland community, gussy’s knew social media would be an integral part of getting the word out there. the first challenge: how to take a complex, innovative process from a chef with a killer background, and translate that into a product that people have preconceived notions about when it comes to price and quality.

we quickly jumped into discovery and presented two ways in:

  1. from chef to table, focused on artisan techniques and high quality ingredients that can be approachable to anyone
  2. a bagel moment, centered around the concept that a bagel can make anything right, but just any bagel won’t do the trick

ultimately, it was concept #1–the manifesto just clicked. we were able to pair the existing branding and deli storefront with a high quality aesthetic through content pillars, a visual mood board (pictured) and a full publishing strategy.

now, to bring that to life and make sure everyone knew about gussy’s.


after approval of the full publishing strategy and platform recommendations, sweb quickly scheduled the first social photoshoot. after less than a year of partnership, there is now an asset library with hundreds of images for gussy’s to pull from at a moment’s notice.

on social, our approach over time shifted from the initial strategy. why? because as the primary gussy’s platform, instagram, evolves its algorithm … so do we. paired with our own learnings based on performance, we shifted quickly to a reel-first approach on instagram. now video content and trending audio is the focus of our ongoing execution efforts.

in addition to monthly reporting on social performance, sweb monitors sales via the gussy’s pos, toast. we leverage the ‘guest engagement’ toast interface to run email automations, a monthly newsletter-style update and reporting on sales attributed to each. it continues to be an effective tool for staying top-of-mind with new & existing gussy’s customers. receives ongoing reports with that data incorporated as a way to measure the return on their market investment.

and let’s not forget paid media, our two-pronged approach: search to intercept prospective customers looking for a breakfast or lunch option, and social to maximize brand awareness and build the gussy’s community.


speaking of community, from the very beginning, collaborations with local influencers proved extremely important in growing the social audience of gussy’s bagels.

in order to generate initial excitement and feedback on the product, sweb architected a list of local influencers and reached out with a voucher for complimentary bagels & schmear. we also hosted a yelp elite week and took part in their local ‘meet the chef’ series. to round out the efforts and tap into facebook, we partnered with the closed pittsburgh foodies facebook group for a giveaway.

our approach yielded a very powerful impact. the instagram audience increased by 328% and our facebook reach improved by over 2,000% within just 6 weeks. sentiment across the board validated two important things: people could taste the difference and people were excited to try a better bagel.

the results speak for themselves

when we opened Gussy’s Bagels & Deli in 2021, we were struggling to find our voice in a crowded market that was turned upside down by the pandemic. nothing was normal. offices were empty, campuses were closed and it was a difficult time. then one of our vendors recommended Sarah Weber and her team at sweb to help us find our voice amid the market chaos. within 30 days, Sarah and her team helped us establish a presence with creative solutions that were affordable, on point and successful in helping us establish a customer base. it’s been almost a year since our launch and the results couldn’t be better.

- robin malpass,
gussy's bagels

@gussysbagels instagram saw a


growth in followers

facebook reach grew by more than


the bottom line:

during even the toughest of circumstances, a top-notch product can see

still success when you curate a group of influential brand advocates

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