The Bronx Bagel Buggy brings NY-style bagels, Sicilian pizzas and stuffed cakes to farmers markets
Born in the Bronx to Italian restaurateurs, Steven Novotny grew up in the food business, but for 13 years he’s worked as a hairstylist at Ovo Salon. A Polish IT business consultant from Cleveland, Julie Dragich once ran a restaurant business. Neither of them was a baker. But after a pandemic-inspired change, the duo now operate the Bronx Bagel Buggy, a New York-style bagel company that sells at farmers’ markets in Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.
After attempting to make their own bagels from scratch, Novotny and Dragich ended up taking a bagel-making class and started testing their recipes with friends. Dragich was out of work at the time and offered to sell the bagels at the Brookhaven Farmers’ Market.
“It just kind of took off,” she says.
Now Novotny is reduced to two days a week at the show as he focuses on expanding the Bronx Bagel Buggy. Dragich is currently making the 4-inch hand-rolled creations on the side, but hopes to one day work full-time with the company.
“We learn through hard-hit school how to be bakers,” Dragich says. “We learned how to convert recipes from a family kitchen to a professional kitchen. We are growing and receiving wholesale offers. We are trying to find space to take it to the next level.
The Bronx Bagel Buggy — which is actually a tent, not a literal buggy or cart — sells preservative-free, boiled and baked bagels that are crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside, Novotny says. They come in flavors like everything, pretzel, garlic parmesan, sesame, and sun-dried tomato asiago. The cream cheese offerings are unique — think raspberry jalapeno, peanut butter chocolate chips, warm honey sriracha, and sweet and spicy mustard.
Dragich and Novotny also make Bialys, Bagel Chips, Sicilian Pizza, Bagel Dogs, and Bagel Bombs (cream cheese stuffed bagel balls). Their Mom’s Stuffed Cakes are based on a 100-plus-year-old recipe from Dragich’s family.
“These are the cupcakes I grew up with,” she says. “There is no icing. They have a whipped filling like a Ho Ho. They are not as sweet as most cupcakes, the filling is light and fluffy.
Dragich and Novotny are working on a partnership with a local restaurateur to supply bagels to a new Westside cafe this summer. They declined to name the chef, but said it would allow Atlanta residents to dine in, hang out or order delivery through UberEats.
They are also looking for a physical space where they could open their own bagel shop in Brookhaven. “I have lived here for 27 years. I love this neighborhood. We are part of this community,” says Dragich.