Fans of Houston’s New York Deli and Coffee Shop and its companion Bagel Shop Bakery have a new way to share their enthusiasm with friends and loved ones. For the first time, the bakery — a staple of Houston’s Jewish community for 45 years — now ships its bagels across the country.
Customers had inquired about shipping for years, but the bakery never made it a priority. With a decline in both dine-in and catering revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, the business prioritized adding the option to its website and developing the necessary infrastructure.
“We had put shipping on the back burner,” owner Michael Saghian tells CultureMap. Business was booming, and we weren’t really adding new options to our lineup. Now, we’re at 34 percent of our revenue from last year. We have to come up with new ways that work.”
Available through the bakery’s website, fresh bagels are shipped overnight for $18 per dozen (usually $12.50) plus the cost of shipping. The minimum order is one dozen, but that just means making sure people get enough plain, poppy, or ET to suit their tastes.
Overnight shipping isn’t cheap; a quick check of addresses shows about $50 to Austin, $70 to Dallas and almost $100 to destinations on the East or West Coast, but how can anyone put a price on giving former Houstonians an essential taste of home?
“There are tons of people who grew up in this place,” Saghian says. “Some people consider this their home. People that love our bagels that don’t live here anymore — they’re getting the option to get our bagels.”
Within the next couple of weeks, Saghian plans to begin offering frozen bagels that could be shipped via ground for a lower cost. That would also allow the deli to add some of its products such as cryovaced bags of matzo ball soup or refrigerated containers with smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Everything’s on the table to keep the business going until the threat from the pandemic abates. No one wants to see the deli and bakery close, especially when it has plans for a second location in Bellaire.
“If we just sit around and do nothing and pray people are going to walk in through our deli, we’re not going to survive,” Saghian says.