The Bronx Bagel Buggy, a popular staple at Atlanta area farmers markets, is moving into a permanent space.
Owners Julie Dragich and Steven Novotny officially started selling their homemade bagels at farmers markets in July of 2021, but started playing around with recipes earlier that year. Novotny, a native New Yorker, had forever been decrying the lack of good bagel shops in the Atlanta area. Then a family member sent them a bagel recipe.
“They turned out horrible,” Dragich said of her first attempt to make the beloved breakfast staple. “I mean, they were terrible.”
For anyone who has had a bagel from the Bronx Bagel Buggy, that might sound surprising. But Dragich said she was never a born baker. She loved cooking and entertaining, but although her grandparents on both sides loved baking, it never really landed with her. When she had a catering business in the 1990s, the only baked good on the menu that she felt comfortable with was carrot cake.
“I never really picked up on baking, you know?” she said. “I liked cooking.”
But after that first disastrous attempt at bagels, the Brookhaven-based husband and wife team kept pushing on. Thus, the Bronx Bagel Buggy was born. For roughly six months, they would make bagels together and have friends over on Sundays to taste test different recipes. The first farmers market they went to was down in Serenbe – “If it doesn’t go well, at least it’s nobody we know from Atlanta,” Dragich joked.
But it did go well. According to Dragich, they sold out Serenbe in about an hour. When they tried the Brookhaven Farmers Market the next weekend, and the Sandy Springs Farmers Market the weekend after that, they sold out in 20 and 30 minutes respectively.
During their farmers market run, the two were working out of Leaven Kitchen, a shared kitchen in Decatur.
“We were starting to realize after a year that if we really want to pursue this and take this to the next level, we probably need to have our own space,” Novotny said.
So, in April of 2023 the pair signed a lease for a space at 5494 Peachtree Road in Chamblee. They don’t have an official opening date yet, but hope to be up and running by mid October.
“For six or seven months, all of our customers were saying to us, when are you getting a brick and mortar? So really, in all honesty, I think our customers in the Brookhaven and Chamblee communities, they really urged and cheered us on to do this,” Dragich said. “I don’t know that we would have done it if we hadn’t gotten constant urging from the community.”
There are many different items on the Bronx Bagel Buggy’s menu, but Dragich said her favorite is one she doesn’t make too often – a pretzel bagel bomb with sweet and spicy mustard cream cheese. Novotny, however, likes to stick to the basics.
“I really feel we have a good product,” he said. “That’s why the bagel is, to me, the real core of this whole thing.”
You can learn more about the Bronx Bagel Buggy’s menu at their website.