Winter Park shop offering free bagels and coffee

Saturday is one of the busiest days for a bagel shop. And so why are Alex and Hunter Tuccio choosing this Saturday (September 17) to give practically everything in The bagel shop?

“It’s a thank you event,” says Alex Tuccio. “Thank you for the positive feedback, for the repeat customers and the honest feedback from those who wrote reviews online and spoke to us directly about things we didn’t notice that will help us in the long run.”

The doors opened at the Winter Park venue on August 15, but it wasn’t their first rodeo. The Bagel Shop has several operational locations in Massachusetts, but this time was different, where a soft opening allowed for a slow, smoother ramp-up.

“We wanted people to show up strong from day one,” says Tuccio, who says their strong presence — especially on social media with Rollins’ students — has been underestimated in hindsight.

“It’s unique for a small business and a bit special…We had a really good opening week – everything we could have hoped for…but we weren’t as prepared for the demand as we were probably should have been.”

Equipment issues didn’t help.

Most comments and reviews have been positive – new regulars have emerged – but following some valuable input, he says, they have made changes.

“Changes to workflow processes, changes to the in-store experience, and changes to our products and equipment,” says Tuccio. “Growing pains, but overall very exciting to have the demand.”

Now they want to give back the same love with one free food and drink per person, all day. This includes everything from their best-selling mochas to their bacon, egg and cheese bagel sandwiches. Bulk bagel customers will receive 20% off.

“We felt we owed it to the community of Winter Park and the students at Rollins,” says Tuccio. “They’ve been supporting us so far and we want to show them that it’s a two-way street, that we’ve improved on every level and that we’re confident in that. And by doing that, people will hear about we will try or try again, and we hope to get long-term customers from it.

Community, Tuccio said in July, is what The Bagel Shop is all about.

“It’s not just about blowing smoke. We want to connect with people and provide the best experience possible. Sometimes you have to be unorthodox for that to happen.

The Bagel Shop is located at 211 W. Fairbanks Ave. at Winter Park, 407-571-9005;

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