CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — Gary Trentacosta has dreamt of opening up his own bagel shop with his wife, Cathy, for years, but after having kids and other life events popping up, the idea has always been pushed to the backburner.
Eventually, however, Gary retired after working for more than 30 years in the food industry. After only three weeks of not working, Cathy Trentacosta said that he simply could not take it anymore.
“He came to me and he said, ‘What do you think about if we just do it now? Just open the bagel business now because this is what I’ve always wanted to do,’” Trentacosta said. “And I just looked at him and I said let’s go for it.”
With their New Jersey roots and experience in the food industry, they were both confident that their little bagel shop would find success in Forsyth County, and so they started planning for The Bagel Hole, a shop that they opened on Monday, June 22, on Peachtree Parkway in Cumming.
Cathy said that they are excited to open and start seeing customers. The shop has a large menu, which customers can browse even on their website, and she said that all of the shop’s baked goods such as bagels and pastries will be made fresh each and every morning before the shop opens. All of the recipes listed on the menu were also created by Cathy herself.
They have also been test baking their specialty bagel krisps for the past six months, giving them out to others for feedback and flavor recommendations. Cathy said that they are just like regular bagel chips, but they named their bagel krisps after their daughter, Kristen.
She said that Kristen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma twice at a young age, and now they want to donate a portion of their sales made off of the bagel krisps to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society “as our way of giving back,” Cathy said.
Now that they are open, the shop is serving their bagel krisps along with sandwiches, pastries, coffees, bagel holes and what they hope is their soon-to-be-famous bigger baker’s dozen — which includes 14 bagels.
The Forsyth County couple has been planning for the Bagel Hole’s opening since they first signed their lease in October. Cathy said that they had planned to open in January, but they ended up running into issues with finding an architect. Then, they had to go through several county inspections and were planning to open soon.
“And what happens right before that?” she said. “A pandemic.”
She said watching restaurants closing all around them while trying to open their own left them scratching their heads. They were unsure of what to do, but they kept on with their plans.
Now, they have measures in place to keep their employees and customers safe. They have sanitizer and wipes available for employees and customers, everything is being wiped down regularly to make sure all areas of the shop are clean, employees are washing and sanitizing their hands as soon as they come into work, and they have added outside seating to encourage social distancing.
The shop is also offering online ordering and curbside pickup via their website. Cathy said she’s optimistic about the shop’s future since many typically do pick-up orders from bagel shops anyway.
“It’s always a little scary venturing out on an endeavor of your own like a restaurant, especially during a health crisis,” Cathy said. “We’re just hopeful that we are supported by the community as a small business.”
Cathy said that her and her husband both are hopeful for the future of the business, though.
“I think things are a bit more relaxed in terms of more people are going out with the precautions and stuff, but I think people are just — they’re putting their toes in the water now, and so we’re going to be happy to be there for them,” Trentacosta said.