Tag Archives: Bagel Maven

A Toast (And A Bagel) To Westport’s Maven

Tomorrow (Sunday, March 1) is Bagel Maven’s last day in business. Owner Alex Perdomo moves on, eager to continue elsewhere.

Friends and customers will honor him today, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Black Duck. All are invited!

Alex Permodo at Bagel Maven.

(Hat tip: Phil Nourie)

Bagel Maven Needs Help

Alex Perdomo is an American success story.

He came to the US at 13, from Honduras. For his first 3 years here, he worked full time to support his parents. At 16 he went back to school.

He’s been married for 27 years. He has 2 beautiful daughters. The oldest just graduated from college. The other is pre-med.

Eleven years ago, Alex bought Bagel Maven. He also bought new equipment to upgrade the popular spot, in the mini-shopping center near Five Guys.

This winter has been tough. Alex fell behind by half a month on his rent. Now, he says, his landlord told him to leave by February 29th — and to leave his equipment too.

“People tell me I should raise my prices,” he says. “I’m not that kind of person.”

Alex asked me to tell his story. But he’s not sure what he wants.

“I don’t know what to do. I’m desperate. This store is my life,” he says.

“I’m 46. It would be hard to start from the beginning.”

Alex Permodo at Bagel Maven.

I suggested that if people stopped in to Bagel Maven, they could talk directly. Maybe someone could help him figure out next steps.

He thought that was a great idea.

Alex has always been there for Westport. He donates bagels and more to any school, organization or event that asks.

Now he’s asking us for help. This is a creative, compassionate community. Let’s see what we can do for Bagel Maven’s bagel maven.

Eggs-actly!

Alert “06880” Joe Massoud reports one more reason it’s good to have Bagel Maven back in business:

“Alex was there this morning, happily selling not only bagels and coffee, but also dozens of eggs to customers who told him they were sold out at local supermarkets. A true friend and neighbor!”

Bagel Maven logo

Bagel Maven Bounces Back

Living in Cos Cob, Phil Nourie and his wife loved walking to their neighborhood bagel shop on weekends. So they were delighted when — moving to Westport — they discovered Bagel Maven on a weekend stroll.

After their son was born in 2009, owner Alex Perdomo delivered bagels and coffee to their home.

That’s the kind of guy Alex is. And it’s the kind of place Bagel Maven was.

But in mid-September, Alex told Phil that he might have to close. He’d missed a rent payment last winter. He took 4 months to pay back, and his landlord was unwilling to take another risk.

Phil — whose day job is in PR and marketing, with plenty of experience in crisis management — offered to help.

He advised Alex not to disparage the landlord — not that Alex would have. He knew he’d made a mistake, and that commercial real estate is a business too.

Alex Permodo on September 30. Despite closing that day, he managed a smile.

Alex Perdomo on September 30. Despite closing that day, he managed a smile.

Phil suggested Alex give away bagels on his last day. “You don’t know what can happen,” Phil said. “You never want to burn bridges.”

“06880” broke the story on Bagel Maven’s closing. WestportNow and News12 followed up.

Phil created a Facebook page and Twitter account. Strangers emailed, asking how they could help.

The Sunday after he closed, Alex met with Phil and another patron. They talked about the possibility of wholesaling, or finding new space in Westport.

Bagel Maven logoAlex was receptive. But research showed those options were not viable.

Phil suggested Alex talk to his landlord.

The conversation went well. Alex was forthright about his past error, and his current situation. The landlord — who had seen the press stories and social media activity — realized Bagel Maven was not just another shop.

Alex got a new lease. The landlord agreed to pay for painting.

Two patrons offered to pay for renovations. Alex and some friends have already taken apart the floor. The oven will be upgraded, and the interior opened up so customers can see the bagels being made. They’ll smell them, too.

Alex and some friends have already started renovating the interior.

Alex and some friends have begun renovating the interior.

The target date for reopening is November 8.

Phil calls this one of the most gratifying projects he’s worked on.

“It’s a great story about how people can come together, and do more than anyone thought possible,” he says.

“And it’s been done without any sense of outrage. This is a story of reality — of mistakes, and what can come out of them.”

Phil adds, “I got way into this — far more than I thought. But I couldn’t just walk away.”

Soon — thanks to Phil Nourie, and a community-wide effort — all of us can walk back into Bagel Maven.

The Last Bagel: The Sequel

The last day of September was the last day for Bagel Maven.

“06880” reader Phil Nourie was one of many loyal patrons trying to help out today.

But, Phil said, time ran out. Owner Alex Perdomo rented a U-Haul, and loaded up at 5:30 p.m.

Alex said:

Even though I must leave today, I am grateful for the time I had here. The customers have been wonderful to me, they became my friends and it is my hope to stay in Westport if I can find another space soon. God bless everyone. Thank you!

At closing time, Alex’s very last bag of bagels went to a volunteer from Westport’s Home with Hope shelters. That was fitting, as he often dropped off extra bagels during his 5-year Post Road run.

Bagel Maven

The Last Bagel?

Splash may close soon.

Bagel Maven will probably close even sooner.

Owner Alex Perdomo told News 12 that even though he has paid his back rent, his landlord may not take another chance on him.

The popular shop across from Terrain will be open Monday.

As for Tuesday?

Well, Bagel Maven fans should stock up now.

Bagel Maven