Cleveland Hustles: The Hustle Continues

LeBron James surprises Cleveland entrepreneurs with an inspiring phone call

One day you're struggling to stay financially afloat as a bagel maker. The next you're getting a phone call from LeBron James.

Such is life when you own one of the four businesses hand-picked by investors to be a part of the new CNBC reality business show "Cleveland Hustles."

The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar is the show's executive producer, and in the fifth episode he reached out to offer congratulations and encouragement to the entrepreneurs who he hopes will inject new life and energy into the economically struggling Gordon Square neighborhood of Cleveland.

‘Cleveland Hustles' entrepreneur, Anne Hartnett, reacts to getting a surprise phone call from LeBron James.
CNBC
‘Cleveland Hustles' entrepreneur, Anne Hartnett, reacts to getting a surprise phone call from LeBron James.

Seeing this area thrive is personal to James, and he expressed what it means to him while speaking with Anne Hartnett, founder of Groundswell, who, in the show, is in the process of opening a new yoga studio.

"This is an exciting time, especially for Cleveland," he told her. "I'm proud of you and the rest of Cleveland is as well."

The product lines of the four small businesses chosen for investment also include hand-crafted soda, leather bags and bagels. And each hopes to attract not only business from neighbors but, in some cases, national attention.

Cleveland Bagel Company is one of those interested in expanding its brand outside the city.

When the owners got their surprise call from James, they insisted that he stop by for a bagel. James asked them if they made one with cinnamon and sugar.

Fully grasping the importance of such a big-name client, bagelmen Geoff Hardman and Dan Herbst promptly responded, "We do now."

Behold! The power of King James!