Small Business Comeback Tour: Bagels by Jarrett
By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso
WEST ORANGE, NJ (WCBS 880) – Jarrett Seltzer tapped into a “cult” following of bagel lovers.
Just before the pandemic, Seltzer started giving away his homemade bagels out of his home kitchen.
“I decided to make a dozen bagels and post (on Facebook) that I had them and give them out,” he said. “I said to everyone the rule is you get one bagel, you have to post a review about it and you have to pay it forward somehow in town.”
Seltzer told Joe Connolly on the WCBS Small Business Comeback Tour, sponsored by PSE&G, the response was overwhelming. He opened a pop-up shop where he continued to give away bagels to gain a following before opening his business about two years later in West Orange.
“We are absolutely continuing to grow by word of mouth,” he said, pointing to a fall surge in bagel sales.
Seltzer said growth accelerated when they were forced to do curbside only in the pandemic and discovered how they would separate themselves from other bagel shops. Bagels by Jarrett added sliders and fried chicken sandwiches with bagels, which became big hits among their regular customers.
“It’s almost this interesting cult of people that love food and I don’t put anything out that isn’t incredible,” he said.
Bagels by Jarrett is expanding its kitchen in January and will add dinner takeout service.