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Seattle Bakery Owner Named 2020 SBA Washington Small Business Person of the Year

Owner Olga Sagan of Piroshky Piroshky Takes Top Honors, Finalist for 2020 SBA National Small Business Person of the Year, Celebration to Recognize All Local SBA Award Winners May 6
Release Date: 
Friday, March 6, 2020
Release Number: 
2020-03-06
Advisory Date: 
Friday, March 6, 2020
Contact: 
Lisa White | lisa.white@sba.gov | 202-836-0036

SBA National Small Business Week 2020 Winner

SEATTLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2020 Washington Small Business Person of the Year is Olga Sagan, owner of Piroshky Piroshky in Seattle, WA. 

Founded in 1992, Piroshky Piroshky has offered hand-crafted Russian pastries to tourists and locals starting with their flagship bakery in the historic Pike Place Market. For the first 15 years of operation, it remained a small local bakery and employed five people.Headshot Olga Sagan, owner of Piroshky Piroshky

In 2006 Sagan came on as partial owner and eventually became sole owner in 2017. Under Sagan’s leadership, the bakery has expanded from one to four locations and a mobile food truck. Today she employs 69 staff and completed 2019 with record sales.

“Sagan’s passion and commitment to growing her business has resulted in the tremendous achievement of transforming a small, beloved Seattle bakery into a multi-million-dollar operation which has created dozens of jobs,” SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “Sagan’s story embodies the American Dream.”

The SBA Small Business Person of the Year award – part of National Small Business Week May 3-9, 2020 – recognizes small business owners who demonstrate staying power and substantiated history as an established business with at least three years of business operation. Winners must also show growth in net worth and business expansion, increase in jobs and sales, innovativeness of products or services, response to adversity and contributions to community-oriented projects.

“Winning this award as a Russian immigrant shows me how incredible this country is,” Sagan said. “I am so proud to be a small business owner in Seattle.”

Sagan arrived in the United States at 16 years old. She learned English and navigated being a woman leader in business, a non-traditional role for a Russian woman.

She completed the SBA Seattle Emerging Leaders course in 2015, where she developed the expertise and found the courage to become the sole owner of the bakery in 2017.

Using knowledge and resources gained from the SBA Emerging Leaders course, the bakery grew from 38 to 69 employees and increased sales 53% from 2016 to 2018.

Sagan supports local artists by showcasing their art in its “featured bag” series and provides charitable contributions to the Pike Place Market foundation, the YMCA and local food banks.

In 2019 Sagan was named one of the Small Business Heroes by the Puget Sound Business Journal and is a finalist for the 2020 Women Business Owners of the Year Award in Seattle.

"Small businesses are the engine of our economy and backbone of our communities, creating two out of every three net new jobs,” SBA Regional Administrator Jeremy Field said. “National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact of entrepreneurs. This year’s award winners represent our region’s best in innovation, resourcefulness and admirable character. It is an honor shine a spotlight on their inspirational stories.”

Small Business Person of the Year winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam will converge in Washington, D.C. May 3-4 when one of them will be selected as the National Small Business Person of the Year.

A celebration honoring local SBA winners from Washington and the SBA Seattle District – which serves Washington state and northern Idaho – will be May 6. Other SBA local awards that will be recognized at the celebration include Exporter of the Year, 8(a) Graduate of the Year, Rising Startup of the Year, Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year, Rural Small Business of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.

For more information about National Small Business Week, visit www.sba.gov/nsbw.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov. The Seattle District serves Washington and northern Idaho with office locations in Seattle and Spokane.

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