Over 32 years ago, when Kabir started to work as a cleaner in a bakery in Brooklyn, he did not imagine that one day he would be able to open his own bakeries throughout New York City.
“I want to be a role model, but not a fake one,” said Kabir during an interview in his Brooklyn office. “First, I want to become a role model to my family by earning their respect then to others.”
Kabir always reminds himself about his roots and struggle. Born and raised in a lower middle class family in a village in Bangladesh, he did not live a life of luxury. But strong family values made him an honest person, and he has been focusing on hard work ever since.
“I did not see wealth in life,” he said. “I did not have too many things at home. Struggle always gave me more strength and motivation to overcome obstacles. I do not like to fall down.”
Coming to New York City in 1981 unable to speak English, Kabir started a janitorial job in a bakery. He then worked his way up as an assistant baker to general manager and finally to partner.
As janitor, he often had to do extra tasks for the baker and other employees.
“People used to give me a hard time and ordered me to bring sugar, flour, and made me do all the work at the bakery,” Kabir said. “I never said no to them. I always thought that if people gave me a hard time it is better for me, because it will help me to learn how to deal with difficulty.”
After working 12 years at the bakery, Kabir opened his own wholesale factory in Brooklyn in 1995. Today he has three bakeries in Brooklyn and five stores throughout New York City. Kabir’s Bakery also sells its products to 2,000 institutions, including airports, stores, and retail bakeries.
That said, Kabir does not feel like he has achieved all of his goals. He compares his journey with cooking a dish that is only half done.
“I want to achieve everything that I want by working hard,” said Kabir. “I believe in creating luck by efforts and positive vision.”