Chief Exec Anthony Prior explains why his bagels seriously cut the mustard. 

It all began with a penniless Brighton student

A chap called Julian decided to make a few quid delivering bagels to office workers back in the Nineties, literally from his backpack. They were so popular he began baking his own, then opened his first store on Bond Street in 1999. We now have four Bagelman outlets across the city.

I come from a nightclub background

When Julian decided to move on I was running club nights in Brighton and booking bands. I always loved Bagelman as a customer – especially The Reuben – so when a chance arose to take the reins I couldn’t resist. It’s all hospitality; big difference is I used to finish at 6AM, now I start at 6AM.

Bagelman is famous for Gluten-free 

Bloggers and specialists are shouting from the rooftops about what we’re doing, especially with gluten-free brioche. You have to take it so seriously; separate containers for all ingredients, not just the bread. We’ve made the effort, and it’s great that people are noticing.

Our coffee has come a long way

I made it my mission to improve the coffee situation. Luckily I’m good friends with Brad at Small Batch, so his team trained our baristas. You know it’s going to be good when that happens. 

Respect for the original NY bagel guys

I was there recently, researching the early Jewish immigrant bakers. They set up cramped makeshift bakeries right underneath the sidewalks of 19th century Manhattan. Imagine the conditions! We’re currently trialling four new bagels based on that trip.

We don’t over-complicate things

Get the best ingredients. Give people a consistent product, at a price they can afford a few times a week. Most people order the same thing every time, so we need to make sure it’s right every time. That’s harder than it sounds. 

There’s an old saying among bagel folk

The optimist sees the bagel, the pessimist sees the hole. 

In that spirit, we're now brewing beer

Sadly there’s always a few dozen waste bagels left over at the end of the day. But working with Franklins micro brewery, we’ve figured out how to turn that food waste into beer. And what else could we call it but… Optimist!