By: Nichole “Niki” Hetchkop, Founder of Beeline Bagels
“By making bagels more accessible and on-demand, Beeline Bagels is an innovative idea that celebrates Jewish culture and creates community. We are proud to support a more dynamic Jewish Atlanta by funding Beeline Bagel’s mobile cart. Here’s Nichole’s Bloom grant story.” —Russell Gottschalk, Federation Director of Innovation.
As a Federation Innovation Bloom grantee, and a graduate of the Path course, I have made a lot of progress in my journey to deliver the best bagels to Atlanta through the creation of my company, Beeline Bagels.Over the last six months I’ve refined my mission and overcome a lot of the logistical hurdles presented in creating a food business in Atlanta. My Bloom grant allowed me to think way beyond my initial concept.
My first inclination was to sell bagels through a brick-and-mortar space, but it was proving to be a struggle with Covid and getting the space I needed to create my bagel magic. That’s when I decided to go mobile. The Bloom grant allowed me to invest in developing a custom mobile cart, one that would allow space for the pre-packaged bagels and a place to refrigerate the cream cheeses. I worked with a company in Bayside, NY to create this cart that includes custom ice plates at the bottom of the cart to keep cream cheeses cold and has room for 200 bagels. The wheels on the cart allow me to set up shop mostly anywhere!”
The grant has allowed me to practice and perfect my bagel-making skills. I said yes to every opportunity to make my bagels for a new person, including creating samples for the Kosher Atlanta BBQ Festival. I made bagels for all my friends and asked them for feedback and to help spread the word. One friend who tried my bagel and is a contributor to Good Day Atlanta named Beeline Bagels as one of the best bagels in Atlanta – something I now proudly proclaim in my marketing.
I am also focused on becoming an event vendor. My goal is to book wedding brunches, bar/bat mitzvahs, fundraisers, tailgates, events in the Jewish community, and beyond. Because I am mobile, the geographic potential is endless! I have an amazing network of talented friends who have helped me photograph my bagels, build my website, create my logo and help design my merchandise so I can sell apparel and create another revenue stream. I can’t forget to mention the dozens of family and friends who have provided me with honest feedback to help get my bagels and schmear to where they are today.
My overarching goal, one day, is to have multiple carts where I can employ adults with special needs to help sell goods from the carts. For now, I am continuing to focus on my go-to-market strategy, revising as I go, while creating heavy buzz for Beeline Bagels. As a one-woman business, I am determined to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible to establish Beeline Bagels as the go-to bagel vendor in Atlanta for all Jewish events and beyond.
I thank the Bloom Grant team for believing in me, and I look forward to wheeling my cart into an event for them soon. For all bagel orders and inquiries for events, please e-mail BeelineBagels@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @BeelineBagels and visit us on our website at www.beelinebagels.com