It may be mere coincidence that Gus Atalla celebrated his birthday on the same day his business, The Bagel Shop, celebrated its grand opening ceremony at 851 Route 22 in Brewster on Dec. 1. What is not coincidence, however, is the early success The Bagel Shop has experienced since its doors first opened a little over a month ago.
“The most rewarding thing honestly is when people come in and give positive feedback, it’s been so refreshing,” Atalla said. “It’s very nice to hear, and we’re humbled by what people have been saying. They love the bagels and the service, and they always say it’s nice and cozy.”
Atalla, along with his co-partners Nasser Aqeel and Joe Khader, saw a void in the communities of Southeast and Brewster and decided to open a place where residents could come in and enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee and a delicious tasting bagel. An orthodontist at Gateway Orthodontics next door, Atalla always had a vested interested in the food industry and knew they could do something with the empty space next to his dental practice.
The partners have focused on offering homemade products—from a variety of cream cheeses to salads, wraps, deli meats and spreads, to achieve great tasting food. Open during the wee morning hours seven days a week, Atalla said the major difference between his business and other large commercial franchises like Dunkin’ Donuts is that The Bagel Shop makes its products fresh on the premises each and every morning.
“We try to cater to our community,” Atalla said. “It’s all in the way you make the bagel—we have fresh bagels that we make by hand every day. They don’t get shipped and we don’t just pop them in the oven.”
Khader, who has been prestigiously dubbed “The Bagel Man,” said he chooses only top-of-the-line ingredients and vendors to produce the very best products day in and day out. Beginning his days at 4 a.m. to present only the freshest bagels and other baked goods, Khader said The Bagel Shop has attracted a following of regular customers and hopes to expand his business out into the community.
“Everybody that’s come up to me has been saying ‘thank god you’re here, we finally have a good bagel place around here—this is just what Brewster needed, this what Southeast needed,’” Khader said. “It’s very motivating, it let’s us want to do more and makes us want to put out a better product.”
And so far the reception has reflected Khader and Atalla’s “only-the-best” attitude. Humbled by their success, the partners know they have a long way to go in order to become a staple in both Brewster and Southeast.
“They say that 75 percent of businesses in the food industry fail within the first three months,” Atalla said. “We haven’t hit our potential yet, but obviously that’s what we want.”
For the skeptics, Atalla offers one piece of advice.
“I would tell everyone to come down and taste our products and try for themselves,” Atalla said. “I mean, obviously I’m biased because it’s my product, but they’re more than welcome to come in and try it.”
To try one of its bagels, stop in at The Bagel Shop at 851 Route 22 in Brewster. To find out more information, contact The Bagel Shop at email@example.com or give them a call at 845-363-1647.
Filed Under: The Putnam Examiner