Tag Archives: Popup Bagels

Roundup: Popup Bagels, Spirited & Small Town Movies, Staples Football …

Popup Bagels — the Westport-based company that has taken the tri-state area by storm (including several out-of-the-suburbs-and-into-the-city awards at Brooklyn BagelFest) — has some eye-popping news.

They just closed on a second round of (poppy) seed funding. Founder and CEO Adam Goldberg calls it “a few million dollars — more than a couple.” That’s on top of about $250,000 last year.

The most recent funding was led by film producer John Davis. Other investors include actors Patrick Schwarzenegger and Paul Rudd; swimmer Michael Phelps, and NFL players JJ and TJ Watt, and Michael Strahan.

The company will now hire a team to examine expansion ideas, including more locations in the New York area (and possibly adding Los Angeles). They’ll also add production capability.

Click here for the full story, from Restaurant Business.

Adam Goldberg, with his Brooklyn BagelFest awards.

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Spirited” — the Christmas-themed musical comedy retelling of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” — has opened to great reviews. It’s in theaters, and streaming on Apple TV.

The music-writing team includes 2003 Staples High School graduate Justin Paul, and his songwriting partner Benj Pasek (“Dear Evan Hansen,” “La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman”).

Justin — also credited as an executive producer — said he had “a blast” working on the score during the pandemic, on Zoom.

In this quick, intriguing interview below, he provides a bit of the back story:

(Hat tip: Julie Whamond)

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Speaking of cinema: “Small Town Movie” is making its way to distribution.

And that “small town” is Westport.

Jarret Liotta — a Staples High School graduate, now a journalist and writer — filmed the dark satire that tries to make sense (“or non-sense”) of racism, gun violence and modern cancel culture in an “average, upper middle class, affluent Connecticut town.”

The timely script will make audiences laugh. “Or furious, depending on their mood that day,” Jarret says.

His goal is to “poke fun at everyone equally, regardless of their social or political views. Hopefully it provides a minor epiphany for everyone — about themselves and the comical world in which we live.

“If Westporters enjoyed my smarmy columns and editorial writing in the past, they’ll probably adore this flick,” Jarret — former editor of Westport Journal — adds.

“If they hated them, this will help them hate me even more.”

The film includes original music by Staples grads Tom Shaner and Margot Liotta.

Jarret plans a screening in Westport after the holidays. Then, he hopes, it will start getting attention from film festivals.

For more information, click here.

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The Staples football team’s quest for a state tournament semifinal berth fell a few agonizing inches short last night.

The Wreckers — seeded 4th in the “LL” (extra large schools) division — dropped a 23-22 heartbreaker to #5 Fairfield Prep, at Paul Lane Field.

The game came down to the final seconds. With no timeouts left, Staples junior quarterback Caleb Smith brought his team 77 yards in the final 2:22. A pass into the end zone was broken up with 3 seconds to go. A final 29-yard field goal attempt was just wide.

Congratulations to coach Adam Behrends and his squad for an excellent 9-2 season. This was the Wreckers’ first playoff game in 7 years.

Quarterback Caleb Smith. (Photo/John Nash courtesy of The Ruden Report)

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WestportMoms’ Holiday Shopping Event always draws a huge crowd to the Westport Country Playhouse. Vendors offer nearly everything shoppers need to complete their gift list.

This year, it’s moving inside, to the Playhouse barn. (Some tables will be outside too). It’s set for this Friday (December 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Warm drinks will be provided. Those WestportMoms think of everything.

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Westporters raveled to Guatemala this month to help expand a local English academy, and also create healthy cooking stoves for local families.

Led by Howard Greene, chair of the non-profit Friends of BEA, the group spent a week building 2 middle school classrooms, painting the exterior, erecting a fence, and working in homes to build energy-efficient and properly ventilated cooking stoves. They also met students, and observed classes.

Among the volunteers: Howard and Joyce Greene, Jeff and Nancy Plotkin, Dan and Ivy Guetta, Robert and Heidi Flicker, Tony and Amy Riggio, Steve and julie Lewine, and Mark Mathias.

The Guatemala group.

Balanya English Academy provides high quality, English-based education, and supportive services to students, their families and the local community.  The goal is to prepare graduates to work in an increasingly globalized world.

For more information, click here or email hgreene@balanyaenglishacademy.org. Check out the drone video below too, shot by Mark Mathias:

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Longtime Westport resident Dr. Paul Schulman died peacefully in his sleep last month, doing what he and his late wife Susan loved: traveling overseas. He was 89 years old.

He was the highly respected chief of hematology and oncology at Norwalk Hospital. He also served at both Yale New Haven Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York.

Paul was born in New York, graduated from Columbia College and SUNY Medical School, and served in the US Air Force.

After he and Susan married in 1965 they moved to Westport, and purchased a home on Twin Oaks Lane in 1968 in anticipation of a family. They raised Heidi and Bruce, both of whom graduated from Staples High School.

Paul coached Little League baseball and softball. He played tennis with friends, enjoyed Westport Pizzeria, and dropped in at Harvey’s Liquor Locker and Klein’s (to purchase action thrillers). Paul and Susan spent many weekend nights dining at Mario’s.

He and Susan shared a passion for art and antiques, especially clocks, which he collected and wound every Sunday. Their collections were fueled by their intrepid travel. Paul and Susan were among early visitors to Antarctica, Burma (now Myanmar), China, and New Guinea, among many other destinations.

After spending nearly 40 years in Westport, Paul and Susan retired to South Carolina and Marbella, Spain. After Susan died in 2016 Paul moved into Fox Hill Residences in Bethesda, Maryland, near where his son lives with his family.

Paul was an active member of the Fox Hill community, participating in the quarterly “radio show,” passing evenings at his end stool at the bar, and watching his grandsons in sports and school activities. He became dear friends with the late Rhoda Herman. Together they enjoyed weekends at her country home in Leesburg, Virginia.

Paul is survived by his children Bruce (Frazier) and Heidi Greenwald (Brad), and 5 grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a memorial page at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

A service to celebrate his life will be held in Bethesda in January. Email Bruce (bschulman@hotmail.com) for details.

Dr. Paul Schulman

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Whether you’re a buck — or you’re paying big bucks for a sticker — it can be tough finding a spot at the Greens Farms train station.

David Hyman spotted today’s “Westport … Naturally” scene yesterday afternoon.

(Photo/David Hyman)

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And finally … Louise Tobin died Saturday in Texas. She was 104.

In 1939, the vocalist with Benny Goodman’s orchestra was ready for national fame. But her husband — bandleader/trumpeter Harry James — had her put her career on hold, to further his own career.

They divorced 4 years later. She raised 2 sons, and was forgotten. But her career was jump started years later in New Orleans, when Al Hirt recognized her and invited her on stage.

Click here for her full, fascinating obituary.

(Louise Tobin may have been forgotten. Please don’t forget “06880.” Just click here, to help support your hyper-local blog.)

Westport’s Other “Hole Foods”

Bagels get lots of love.

Pop-Up Bagels recently won both the expert judges and people’s choice awards at the prestigious Brooklyn Bagelfest.

Badass Bagels, out of Sugar + Olives, definitely lives up to its name.

But what about Westport’s other “hole foods”: donuts?

Not so much.

There are 3 Dunkin’ Donutses in town, but most people go there for coffee. Coffee An’s great donuts share space with muffins and crullers.  Donut Crazy offers crazy good donuts, but unless you want your arteries immediately blocked, you can only go there once a month.

Evan Feldman is changing that — one freshly made mini-doughnut at a time.

Evan Feldman’s donuts.

The University of Michigan graduate spent 10 years in finance. He didn’t love it though, and when the 2008 economic crisis hit, he took a severance package.

His wife was an occupational therapist; he stayed home to raise their child, and consulted on the side.

One year turned into four. Then … it was time to make the donuts.

Feldman’s father had taught him to cook. His brother was a chef. His in-laws owned a New York food business.

Most importantly, he had a sweet tooth.

Donuts were becomingtrendy. But unlike another early 2010s food craze — cupcakes — Feldman thought they had staying power.

“Donuts are always around,” he notes. “Every culture has a version of fried dough.”

He opened a Doughnuttery pop-up shop in Chelsea Market, figuring 3 to 6 months. Customers loved watching the batter turn into a sugary mini-donut. The aroma was intoxicating.

The market offered Feldman a permanent spot.

The business grew. His brother joined to run catering and events, with a mobile donut-making machine at places like Bryant Park and music festivals.

They opened in the Plaza Hotel food court, and the Turnstyle Underground Marketplace on Columbus Circle.

Customers asked about opening franchises in their hometowns. Doughnuttery launched 3, in Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona.

COVID hit small businesses like mini-donut shops hard. Two of the franchises folded. The Plaza did not reopen its food court.

But Doughnuttery is rising. Feldman recently opened another store, in Long Island’s Roosevelt Field mall.

A Doughnuttery store.

Four years ago, the Feldmans moved to Westport. A Rockland County native, he’d always wanted a house, lawn and garage; he loved hiking and the water too. His wife had friends in Weston.

Westport, he says, has been “magical.”

Doughnuttery has not yet popped up here. But he’s looking for opportunities.

Feldman is friendly with Badass Bagels’ Jennifer Balin. They might work something out.

He’s donated donuts to his kids’ schools, Coleytown Middle and Kings Highway Elementary.

Evan Feldman, on the cover of a New York Daily News story.

Because his donuts are made to order, there are not many left over. But when a company ordered 15,000 a day (to entice workers back to their offices), Feldman spent a couple of weeks dropping off hundreds at the Gillespie Center.

“They thought I was crazy,” he says. (Insert your own “Donut Crazy” joke here.)

Last weekend, the Doughnuttery mobile machine traveled to Bridgeport’s Sound on Sound music festival.

It’s in demand too for events like weddings and bar mitzvahs — any place mini-donuts can be made, hot and fresh, in front of people’s eyes (and noses).

Catering, courtesy of Doughnuttery.

That includes hotel rooms.

“We’re Kim Kardashian’s favorite donuts,” Feldman says proudly. “She asked us to make donuts in her hotel room, before a gala. We made them for her, and all her entourage.”

(Click here for the Doughnuttery website.)

(“06880” hits the sweet spot for local news. Please click here to help support this blog.)

Roundup: “06880” Blog Party, Popup Bagels, Manna Toast …

Save the date!

Thursday, July 21 is the day for our annual “06880” blog party.

It’s fun. It’s social. It’s chill.

Longtime resident or newcomer; old or young; frequent commenter or lurker — all are welcome.

Meet neighbors and strangers; politicians and normal people. Put faces to names you’ve only read about. And do it all at a place dear to every “06880” resident’s heart: Compo Beach’s South Beach, near the kayak launch.

Remember that date: July 21. See you there!

Food and fun at an “06880” bash.

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Westperters have long known and loved Popup Bagels — well, at least since 2020, when our neighbor Adam Goldberg took advantage of COVID downtime, his love of baking and his creativity to come up with what some argue is the Best. Bagel. Ever.

Compact, crusty and generously coated with seeds, they draw raves wherever they’re sold. But they’re sold only in pop-up — that is, pickup — locations.

I may have been the first media outlet to write about Popup Bagels. Since then, he’s expanded to Redding and Greenwich.

And, occasionally, New York.

Traditionally hard-to-please bagel lovers there have embraced Adam’s creations.  So has Brooklyn BagelFest, where he won the People’s Choice award. It was a stunning victory for a Fairfield County upstart.

Now comes another prize: a writeup in the New York Times. Today’s Food section contains a mouth-watering review (and photos).

Click here for the full story. Click here for the website to order — but good luck with that.

You shoulda thought of it sooner. (Hat tip: Sharon Fiarman)

A few of Adam Goldberg’s many bagels. (Photo/Jen Goldberg)

Adam Goldberg with his Brooklyn Bagelfest award.

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The closing of Church Lane to vehicles has brought excitement — and outdoor dining — to that small street downtown.

But with no dinner menu, Manna Toast could not capitalize on the fun.

Now they can. The restaurant — whose loyal customers love its plant-based, non-GMO, artisanal, organic, locally-sourced eat-in, takeout and delivery menu — has added “Manna at Night.”

Available at heated tables and indoors until 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (with more days to come soon), chef Jason Wiener offers shared plates (the roasted brussels with gingery soy and cashew coconut crunch is great), bowls (ditto the Thai curry), sliders and desserts, along with cocktails, wine and beer.

Manna Toast has rolled out the dinner options quietly, working out the kinks while maintaining the café and caterers’ high quality.

Now the word is out: Manna is much more than breakfast, lunch and toast.

(Manna Toast is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more information.)

A dinnertime welcome at Manna Toast.

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The last time I posted a story about a musician asking for help in the Stop & Shop parking lot, I learned it was a scam.

This one seems more legit. But I can’t vouch for sure.

Nn “06880” reader (and shopper) writes: “I came out of Stop & Shop, and heard the most beautiful music. This family moved here from Romania 6 months ago, and are living out of their car.

“They said they are connected with Family & Children’s Agency (their English was not great, so I think that is what he said). The father (playing/pictured here) was an electrician in Romania, but said he can/will do any kind of work. He learned to play music from his grandmother.”

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Rockwell Dance Center in Trumbull got to know Charlie Capalbo through his cousin Harrison, who danced there.

Every year, RDC organizes a benefit concert. Charlie — the Fairfield Ludlowe High School graduate/hockey goalie, and grandson of Westporters Ina Chadwick and Richard Epstein — was battling cancer for the 4th time.

When RDC asked Charlie if they could do this year’s concert in his honor, he said yes — provided the proceeds went to 2 local pediatric cancer charities that helped him and his family. He chose Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer, and LIVFREE.

Charlie died last week, a month before his 24th birthday. The concert — this Saturday (April 30, 7 p.m., Trumbull High School) — will celebrate his life.

The dance community and hockey community will come together for Charlie. The Fairfield Co-op, Fairfield Prep, Trumbull High and St. Joseph hockey teams will open the concert with a “stick tap for Charlie.”

The concert includes song and dance. Tickets are $20, and are available at the door (cash, check or Venmo), or through Venmo now (@theparkerproject).

Charlie Capalbo (Photo/Dave Gunn)

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MoCA Westport’s Family Day will have something for everyone.

Even the world-famous Piglet.

The June 18 event (noon to 2 p.m.) features the blind, deaf pink puppy of that name. He’s  inspired a global movement for acceptance, inclusion, empathy and kindness. Veterinarian Melissa Shapiro — author and co-creator of “The Piglet Mindset” — will share his story, and talk about her new children’s book “Piglet Comes Home.”

The day also includes healing art activities, mural painting, music by Dustin Lowman, an ice cream truck, meet-and-greet with dogs from Westport Animal Shelter Advocates, homemade doggy treats from Earth Animal, and free admission to the exhibit of Westport student artwork. Click here for tickets.

Piglet at Compo Beach.

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Starting Sunday (May 1,), stickers will be required to park at Westport beaches.

Part of the fee goes to beach maintenance. Crews were out in force yesterday, getting ready for the (hopefully) warm weather ahead.

(Photo/Pat Auber)

(Photo/Jonathan Prager)

Meanwhile, progress continues on the jetty/groin project at Burying Hill Beach.

(Photo/Peter J. Swift)

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The spring issue of Westport Magazine is out.

Author Jane Green graces the cover. Other features include dozens of ways to enjoy life, and a glowing review of Allium Eatery.

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Three years ago, RTM member Andrew Colabella turned 30. He wrote about that turning point for “06880.”

Today he turns 33. Time marches on. Happy birthday to a good old guy.

Andrew Colabella

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The Burying Hill osprey gets less press than its Fresh Market cousin.

But it too is majestic. It poses here, in all its “Westport … Naturally” splendor,

(Photo/John Prenderville Jr.)

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And finally … Duke Ellington was born 123 years ago today. The jazz pianist, composer and bandleader died in 1974. But his music is eternal.

 

 

 

Roundup: Bagels, Nasdaq, Charles Barkley …

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It’s one thing for “06880” to announce that Popup Bagels won the Brooklyn Bagelfest contest.

It’s another for Nasdaq to trumpet the victory to the world.

But hat was the scene in Times Square this week:

“Several high-level executives at Nasdaq are @PopUpBagels fanatics and regular customers,” says founder Adam Goldberg.

“They felt it was important to acknowledge our victory.  i guess they see a future for us!”

They, and hundreds of thousands of visitors who now know that the best Brooklyn bagels are baked right here, in Westport.

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Annual reports are usually ho-hum affairs. Whether they come from your favorite non-profit or a business you don’t even know is part of your portfolio, odds are you toss them without opening. What a waste, for all the work done by top executives on down to interns.

You will not throw away the Westport Library’s annual report.

For one thing, it’s digital. For another, it’s fantastic. Dense, filled with numbers, they

In 20 video testimonials, users speak passionately about what the library means to them. The children’s section, research, pleasure reading, events — it’s all there, all recorded in the facility’s own Verso Studios.

The Westport Library is the gift that keeps on giving. This unique annual report is one more reason you should give back even more. (Click here to see.)

Screen shot of the Westport Library’s annual report. Each thumbnail links to a different short video.

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Westport has 2 new deputy chiefs.

Captains David Farrell and Ryan Paulsson were promoted this week, at a Town Hall ceremony. Chief Foti Koskinas praised their outstanding worth ethic, high character and strong commitment to the town.

Farrell served as a crisis negotiator with the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team, and is a former member of the department’s Honor Guard.  He was vice president of the Westport police union and Police Benevolent Association, and worked closely with Special Olympics organizing charity torch runs and fundraisers.

Farrell holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut. He lives in Fairfield with his wife and 2 daughters.

Paulsson  — a Staples High School graduate — was hired as a patrol officer in 2000. Since rising to captain in 2017,  Paulsson has commanded the Professional Standards Division. He is currently in charge of the Operations Division, and the Westport Police/Fire Dive Rescue Team.

He is a former K-9 handler and team leader for the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team. He is a certified law enforcement instructor.

Paulsson holds a bachelor’s degree in justice and law administration from Western Connecticut State University, and is pursuing his master’s degree in criminal justice at Sacred Heart University.  He lives in Milford with his wife and 2 daughters.

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Since opening this summer, La Plage — the new Inn at Longshore restaurant — has become a go-to destination. The food equals the always stunning view.

La Plage is run by Greenwich Hospitality Group — operators of the wildly popular Delamar Hotels and and Artisan Restaurants. Now, they’ll take over catering at the Inn too.

The Inn’s culinary team is led by Frederic Kieffer, executive chef of La Plage. He also  oversees food service for Artisan restaurants in Southport, West Hartford and Traverse City, Michigan.

The Inn at Longshore

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A longtime,, now retired, Westporter writes:

“I keep myself busy by walking around the Longshore golf course. In the course of my walks I pick up stray golf balls. I now have over 1,000.

“I want to give them away. Ideally, I would like to donate them to a youth group involved with golf. Local high schools are not interested. Can you come up with some clever ideas to help me direct this gift? Maybe an organization that can raffle them off?”

I’m not sure — but I’m sure our readers will tee up on this one. If you have any ideas of where our friend can donate over 1,000 golf balls, click “Comments” below. Fore!

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Speaking of sports:

The National Basketball Association is 75 years old. The NBA Retired Players Association is 3o. Heartlent is one.

But the Westport-based  digitial, social strategy and creative content team has teamed up with those 2 organizations to refresh their visual identity. Heartlent created a new logo, and a series of custom animations based on untold stories from hoop legends. The first features Charles Barkley (below)

You can review stills from the first animation as well as the logo here. to check out those stills. Access the full video via NBRPA Twitter.

The animation has tons of easter eggs. How many can you find?

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Jacque and Bill O’Brien were working in their yard this week. They sensed they were being watched. They looked up — and they were.

(Photo/Jacque O’Brien)

Besides posing for a “Westport … Naturally” photo, these deer were no doubt scoping out their next garden meal.

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And finally … speaking of Sir Charles:

 

 

Adam Goldberg: Pop (Up) Goes The Bagel

What can be better than a pop-up bagel shop?

Two of them.

Last week, “06880” featured Sugar & Olives’ Saturday morning pick-up service. Today we highlight a delicious Sunday option, courtesy of Adam Goldberg.

Bagels represent the third career for the longtime Westporter. In 2012, after years in structured finance, he bought the rights to flood mitigation company Aquafence.

He still operates it. But the pandemic hit that industry hard, like so many others.

With time on his hands — and a lifelong love of cooking and entertaining — he began baking. After a year and a half on the keto diet (and a mild case of COVID), Goldberg was ready for some lockdown carbs.

He made sourdoughs, pizzas and pastas.

Then came bagels.

Using his own recipe, Goldberg invited friends to stop by. He’d send out a text at 6 a.m.: “I’m baking today. Stop by.”

This was a great way to see them — if only to hand them his bagels through a backyard pick-up window, while chatting for a minute or two.

Adam Goldberg, his wife Jen, his bagels, his back yard, and his window (background).

He had no set schedule. That didn’t matter, because every day blended into every other one.

Word spread. His text chain grew. Now Goldberg was getting requests for bagels from “tertiary friends.”

November 1 was his birthday. In normal years, he throws a party. This time, he teamed with Filling in the Blanks, the Norwalk non-profit that provides weekend meals to needy children. His bagel sale raised around $1,000.

That drew more attention. Soon, 1200 people were requesting bagels. Most were strangers.

Help came when Rachel Golan reached out. The wife of Don Memo owner Bill Taibe offered their kitchen on a Sunday morning.

Goldberg was not sure if that would work. “Bagels are sensitive,” he notes. “I didn’t know if the oven or the process would be right.”

In early December, he took a chance. He baked 300 bagels.

All were quickly gobbled up.

A few of Adam Goldberg’s many bagels. (Photo/Jen Goldberg)

For his second Sunday, Goldberg devised an advance online ordering system. He cut that off at 500 bagels.

His third and fourth efforts were capped at 1,000 each. Both sold out — within minutes.

He, his wife and local kids he hired hand-delivered bagels over the holidays. They too sold out in seconds.

This past Wednesday, it took just 82 seconds for all bagels to be spoken for. Another 155 names joined the wait list.

“I never set out to sell,” Goldberg says. “But people keep knocking. I’ve been in the flood business for all these years. I never had 500 people on my mailing list.”

He no longer works alone. Golan helps bake; so do a doctor, fashion executive and hedge fund woman.

“It’s 6:30 in the morning. The radio is on. I’m with good friends, rolling bagels. There’s no place I’d rather be,” Goldberg says.

Behind the scenes in the Don Memo kitchen. From left: Rachel Golan, David Levinson,
Jason Epstein, Adam Goldberg. (Photo/Ria Rueda)

Recently, he got a state license. It allows him to cook non-perishable items at home, for sale.

Goldberg’s goods have gained notice — and not just from normal, run-of-the-mill bagel lovers.

CTbites recently included Pop Up Bagels on its “Top Eats for 2020” — by 2 separate food writers. Goldberg was listed along with some of the top restaurants (and chefs) in the state.

The past months have taught the bagel baker some important lessons. For example: “It’s exciting to grow a business. It’s always tricky to scale something done at home. But if you make a great product, there’s a market for it.”

That market includes many people with “childhood memories of eating great bagels,” Goldberg says. Seemingly all grew up in the tri-state area.

Those memories are strong. When he ran an online contest (the prize: a dozen bagels) asking for recollections, the nearly 100 responses were “off the charts. People remembered smells, sights, everything. There’s a lot of nostalgia for bagels.”

Each Sunday, he gets feedback.

“Thanks for letting me buy your bagels,” one customer wrote. “I feel like I won the lottery.”

“This Long Island girl finally feels at home here,” another said.

Such comments are gratifying. They could turn a bagel maker’s head. But Goldberg is not biting. He tells people who urge him to expand: “We’re taking our time. We want to be sure to hit it right.”

He pauses. “It’s a hobby gone wild.’

(Goldberg typically bakes salted poppy, sesame, Maldon salt, cinnamon raisin, everything and plain bagels; occasionally he adds honey whole wheat. Don Memo offers an artisan schmear, when you pick up your bagels. To be notified of upcoming sales, follow popupbagels on Instagram or click here.)