Photo by Kristina Chaney ’23
Floating around the Westport online community, drawing intrigue, is a seemingly unmoored bagel business. Pop Up Bagels, started as a quarantine baking hobby by Westporter Adam Goldberg, and has developed into a online order pick-up bagel store with a changing location.
“You order online (reservations sell out fast, so when the link is live, don’t delay) and you get a pickup window to grab them hot and fresh,” a customer commented on a Dan Woog blog.
The reservation link updates weekly at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays with a limited quantity of bagel dozens. Purchases are picked up at scheduled times at varying “weekend pop-up” locations from the masked employees. The process has been optimized for COVID-19 safety.
Goldberg and the rest of Pop Up Bagels currently offer Maldon salt, sesame, salted poppy, cinnamon raisin and everything bagels, all of which are sold by the dozen. They also offer multiple varieties of “schmears,” which is what they call their spreads.
“[My friend] got some and I’m green with envy,” a fan commented on a Pop Up Bagels instagram post. “I heard their bagels are otherworldly.”
Goldberg’s business started as a baking hobby, followed by a series of baked favors which became a fundraiser. Now, the business is fully fledged, with the weekly online updates selling out in seconds.
“I never set out to sell,” Goldberg said. “But people keep knocking.”
The store has grown mostly through its strong online presence and local cult following. Pop Up Bagels has become a hot name through active social media presence. Customers often share their bagel purchases on Instagram by tagging @popupbagels.
Though Pop Up Bagels has made a name in Westport, Goldberg and his team seek to eventually expand to 50 to 100 storefronts nationwide. In the meantime, Pop Up Bagels is gaining more traction in Westport, through events such as weekly giveaway and waitlist events.
The Wednesday order link now sells out in seconds as Pop Up Bagels become more sought after within Westport.
Goldberg’s team is also getting larger and the weekly amounts of bagels are increasing, from currently offering 120-150 dozen bagels per week.
“All of the Staples students who have been helping as we grow have been amazing to work with,” Goldberg said. “I look forward to hiring many of them to work in the popup kitchens as they expand.”
Bagel production is currently based at the Manna Toast restaurant kitchen in Westport, but physical popups range as far as New Jersey. Pop ups are traditionally scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
“Nothing better on the Gold Coast or any coast,” a customer commented on an Instagram post. “Goldberg makes the best bagels short of time travel.”