Success Story

Bite a Bagel

That first month in business, I was scared to death,” said Kathy. “I was nervous and excited all at the same time. Every day I pull into the parking lot, I can’t believe our dream became a reality. We could not have done it without the assistance of Marge and the FSBDC at UNF. We will continue to use them throughout the life of our business.

What started out as a dream has become a reality for business owners Kathy and Rich Borsody. One might expect anyone dreaming of one day making New York style bagels would be working in the baking industry, but in this case you would be wrong. In fact, before opening Bite a Bagel, Kathy and Rich were both working in successful careers. Kathy was a branch manager at a major national bank, while Rich was a 10-year Air Force veteran working on jet engines and later as a manager for Wood Group Pratt & Whitney. But they both knew they wanted to make bagels.

Having worked for a bank, Kathy knew the importance of having a strong business plan. She contacted the Small Business Administration which in turn referred her to Marge Cirillo at the Florida Small Business Development Center in St. Johns County for assistance with creating their business plan and putting their dream on paper. Starting a restaurant always includes unforeseen challenges. Marge emphasized the importance of planning to minimize the number of unanticipated issues.

You can’t sell bagels without a store and deciding on the right location was crucial for success. Kathy and Rich needed a space that was zoned for food service. They wanted to select a location near other stores to get foot traffic from those shopping in the area but make sure they didn’t have too much competition nearby. Marge assisted them with finding the location and followed up to check on obtaining any permits they needed.

Once the location was selected, Marge provided Kathy and Rich with help finding financing for the startup of the business. After investing months of planning, networking within the restaurant industry and mentoring under a friend in a NYC Bagel restaurant, the Borsody’s hired eight employees and opened Bite a Bagel. The bagels are shipped in from NYC, and Rich bakes them on site fresh every morning.

Going from corporate jobs to entrepreneurs running their own business seemed to come fast and furious, but it hasn’t stopped Bite a Bagel from being a huge success from day one.

“That first month in business, I was scared to death,” said Kathy. “I was nervous and excited all at the same time. Every day I pull into the parking lot, I can’t believe our dream became a reality. We could not have done it without the assistance of Marge and the FSBDC at UNF. We will continue to use them throughout the life of our business.”

Bite a BagelKathy and Rich Borsody

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