Matt, Abe, and Jason are three mates who got together to bring a slice of American culture to Bondi with the mindset of wanting a change of lifestyle for the better, while still keeping their fun ways. They are now proud owners and runners of ‘Bagel 2 G o' the new bagel shop on the block in the heart of Bondi Beach which offers fun, healthy food on the go!
They pride themselves on locally sourced and fresh produce including nine types of bagels, eight different sandwich fillings, and eighteen variations of infused cream cheeses. They’ve got every flavour combination you could ever dream of!
Already having quite a following and welcoming busy lunch crowds, (not to mention a perfect rating on Trip Advisor!) these guys are showing everyone that bagels have been well and truly received down at the beach fifteen hours a day seven days a week!
We caught up with the guys outside the shop on one scorcher of an arvo to chew the fat on how everything got started…
Left to right: Bagel 2 Go guys Jason, Matt, and Abe.
How long have you guys known each other and how did you end up in Bondi?
Matt: Jason and I met each other eleven years ago through the nightclub scene, and I met Abe around three years ago. We all just got along like a house on fire.
Abe: I’m originally from NZ, but l have lived in Bondi since I was eleven.
Jason: I moved to Bondi after growing up on the central Coast. I’ve known Abe for four months…it’s been a beautiful four months! We’re still honeymooning.
How did Bagel 2 Go come about?
Matt: The concept came from wanting a change of lifestyle - I personally wanted to leave the music industry that I’d been doing for ten years and find something a bit more stable.
Abe: I’ve been running kitchens for around ten years so it’s what I know and love to do.
Matt: I studied a bit of America and was trying to work out what America had that we hadn’t really got yet. I’m a believer that what ever America tends to produce, Australia tends to follow-up and mimic. So when I came across New York and bagels, I went around Sydney looking at all the different bagel places. It was funny because I realised you could get bagels in Sydney but you couldn’t get the spreads. So we ended up deciding instead of doing what Americans do which is mix their meat into the cream cheese, why don’t we come up with an abundant of flavours of cream cheese and then market it that way.
We took concepts of the traditional bagel shop, and a Montreal bagel shop and added our own little twist to it and this was the end result.
Photo credit: bagel2go.com
Matt: Bondi is where Abe and I call home and Jason would call home as well. And with all our friends circling around here…
Abe: There’s a good support team around us. Because we’ve been in Bondi for such a long time and have a lot of friends here, everyone wants to come and see us and they’re excited to see what you’re doing. Everyone supports everyone.
Matt: We have a good relationship with a lot of businesses around here. We go to Fishbowl often and those boys always come for breakfast at ours. Instead of that stereotypical business mentality that you’re in competition with everyone, I’ve always been a believer that’s it’s better to grow together than to try and be the top dog. If you can help someone else grow, then that will help you grow in return, it’s definitely more beneficial to your company and your support group.
Photo credit: @ashleighbierton via @bagel2go
If you’re planning to set up a business in Bondi do you thinks it’s key to be a part of the community?
Matt: Each business is different. We do source all our produce and meats from local distributors – our meats come from Field To Fork Butcher on Hall St, our bagels come from Wellington St Bakery, we teamed up with them and they’ve been in Bondi for as long as I can remember. We’ve just decided to work within the community.
Abe: Believe in what you’re doing. With Bagel 2 Go it’s about believing in our product – we cook and prepare everything fresh every single day. It’s a lot of work and as long as it’s fresh, interesting and full of flavour then you can’t really go wrong.
Jason: Our Di Bella coffee is delicious! It’s won the golden bean, so it’s the best coffee in Australia (as long as the barista’s good! hah).
Matt: Luckily we’ve got the best!
Above: Jason No.1 Barista.
Were there any hardships starting the business?
Matt: I think with starting any business there’s a certain degree of stress that comes with it. Everyone’s different. Also, there were nerves from putting everything you’ve worked for on the line for a business venture with partners. There are sacrifices and you kind of have to adjust.
Jason: We were doing ninety-plus hours a week each and that certainly took its toll at the start, and now we’ve all pulled back. I’ll do the mornings, Matt will do the afternoons, and Abe’s just here 24hrs a day!
Matt: Abe lives here. We’re about to get a bed put in the back!
What advice would you give to anyone starting or thinking of starting a business?
Matt: Don’t do bagels because that’s ours! Hah…patience and communication is key. It’s not just one thing but multiple things you need to understand, not just about your business but the people you work with; it’s a team effort!
Jason and I came from a fun little industry, it was pretty special, and we thought when we came into the hospitality world why change our fun ways? We’re in Bondi, one of the funnest places in Sydney. We have beautiful weather, beautiful beaches and a great community, let’s have fun and not be so serious!
Above: The Bondi Bagel...Say hey to this guy next time you're at the beach.
What’s next for Bagel2go? Any plans on expanding in the future?
Jason: I think the next one we want to do is up in Byron Bay. After Byron, Melbourne, then Brisbane. We’re certainly looking at expanding to London and the US. We’ve had so many customers come in and say ‘You should do this state side!’ so we’ll hit some coastal towns and branch off from there…it’s already been one hell of a ride!
You can check out the menu online at www.bagel2go.com.au or even better go say hey to the guys at their shop! 152-162 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach!
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