GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In early November, Kerry Smith opened up shop on South Street, cooking up fresh bagels daily and looking to start a new staple for Glens Falls. A couple of months later, Glens Falls Bagels is still something of a work in progress – but it’s already gained the loyal follower base of a longtime favorite.
During Monday’s heavy snowfall, Glens Falls Bagels saw some delivery orders come through from locals hoping to get some fresh-baked goods delivered to warm up the snow day. When the owners of Morgan & Co. Restaurant ordered some bagels through DoorDash, a delivery driver never showed – and Smith stepped up to make sure the everythings got everywhere they needed to be.
“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” said Smith. “It would have been Philly (one of Glens Falls Bagels’ recent hires) but we had a rush in the kitchen. I knew it would be upsetting to not get those bagels, so I got them out there.”
Glens Falls Bagels has had a complicated relationship with delivery. The shop is situated next door to the former home of Irish Pizza, on a block of South Street not populated by many other functioning businesses – and not a lot of people aware he was there.
DoorDash helped the shop get on the map for the people of Glens Falls, but as time went on, the amount that the service charged wasn’t working out for the fledgling bagelry’s bottom line. The shop doesn’t yet move bagels at a high-enough rate to take a 30% hit on orders.
Now, Smith has dialed back on DoorDash, and has shop employees ready to run an order out on delivery as needed. That’s been a difficult transition, and he feels like fewer people are ordering, but it’s all part of the process.
“It’s all transition. Within the first 60 days of opening, am I where I thought I would be? Some days. Other days are slow, and that just comes with the territory.”
The good news is that Smith has employees at all – a step up from the one-man operation he started with. On Tuesday, a second pair of hands worked alongside him to make breakfast sandwiches for a visiting customer, while a third hung ready nearby. His son picks up hours when he can, when not at school. In the future, Smith hopes to hire someone just to handle delivery – assuming the demand is strong enough.
Like the clientele, the menu at Glens Falls Bagels is slowly growing. Bagels come by the bag, or toasted with cream cheese – and now with Boar’s Head deli meats and cheeses, too. Breakfast sandwiches have been a hot item, although the rising price of eggs due to a recent bird flu outbreak has proven a challenge.
Smith has ambitions for pizza bagels and more sandwiches, and on Tuesday, he had something else to show off. With fresh bagels part of downtown Glens Falls’ ecosystem for the first time in recent memory, he’s now bringing knishes into the conversation as well. Importing from New York City, Smith carefully bakes each batch to golden-brown perfection.
“The knishes really bring my sense of childhood to this area,” said Smith. “You could always go to the local store for a knish with some cheese in the middle – that’s what I always did as a kid.”
In the future, Smith plans to add pasta bowls to the menu, along with a specialty line of cannabis-infused bagels that he’s been working on for some time. The menu is on an ever-growing chalkboard wall, which he hopes to have full of options by summer.
A look around inside the former bar that now houses Glens Falls Bagels shows a lot of changes in just a couple of months. The bar countertop now houses a bagel case, air pots full of fresh coffee, and often a tray of fresh bagels. The kitchen is in a small corner of the space, but a recently-cut window allows more of a view – and more lively conversation – through to the store.
Recently, the building at 46-76 South Street – which includes Glens Falls Bagels – came under new ownership. Smith is told that the new owner may have an interest in using the bagel shop’s current home as a bar, as it once was. If that happens, the shop may move – in two directions at once. Smith envisions using the former taxi office at the corner of South and Elm as his business’ new storefront – and turning the former home of Irish Pizza, at the other end of the building, into a far bigger kitchen than he has today.
“We’ll be doing wholesaling for everyone within a 25-mile radius, at first,” said Smith. “We’re going to start doing fundraisers every Thursday night for the money for a new oven we’ll need to get. There’ll be a lot coming.”
Glens Falls Bagels can be found on Facebook, where the business posts specials and information about current hours.