Skip to Content
MIT News magazine

Laura Trust, MBA '96

Entrepreneur and husband Alan Litchman, SM ‘95, MBA ‘96, finagle a bagel–literally.

Laura Trust, MBA ‘96, wanted two things back in 1998: to go into business for herself and to find a decent bagel. She and her soon-to-be-husband, Alan Litchman, SM ‘95, MBA ‘96, were living in Hong Kong, where Western food was plentiful with that one exception. They established a holding company, found a Chinese partner, and came back to the United States to learn the business.

But the couple’s plans took an unexpected turn after they met the owner of Finagle a Bagel, which then had five stores in the Boston area. Trust and Litchman decided to buy the company.

“We knew we could always bring it back to Hong Kong at some time in the future,” Trust says. Four days after acquiring the company, Trust and Litchman were wed. Ten years later, both their household and their business have grown considerably. The couple has three children–seven, three, and nearly one–and 20 Finagle a Bagel stores in the greater Boston area.

Both Trust and Litchman grew up in Massachusetts. They met in a study group their first day at the Sloan School of Management. After they graduated, Trust went to work for her father, Martin Trust, SM ‘58, who owned Mast Industries, a garment and components manufacturing business. The job took her to Hong Kong, where Litchman, who initially worked in the real-estate industry, eventually joined her. Neither felt comfortable in the corporate world. They wanted to run their own business–one that involved a tangible product. The food industry seemed as good as any. Finagle a Bagel was a small but decent brand, and they thought they could build it into something big. Today, they are preparing to franchise the business.

Trust says she and Litchman have called upon their Sloan School education throughout the process of buying and expanding their business.

“The Sloan School helped tremendously,” she says. “I get to use everything that I learned at MIT: HR, operations, finance, business law–I had no idea how many times a business gets sued. I think about case studies, or something a professor said, or discussions we might have had. I needed exposure to all of those things in order to be successful in what we’re doing now.”

Keep Reading

Most Popular

computation concept
computation concept

How AI is reinventing what computers are

Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

seeing is believing concept
seeing is believing concept

Our brains exist in a state of “controlled hallucination”

Three new books lay bare the weirdness of how our brains process the world around us.

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.