Long Island Native Turns Homesickness Into a Business

Being from a small town in Long Island, New York, Josh Anker always loved his bagels.

Josh Ankar during a Block Gives Back event (Courtesy Photo)

Then he moved to the Philadelphia area to attend Drexel University and stayed there after graduating. Once the pandemic hit, he got an idea to bring his favorite bagels over to the Philly area after deciding to work remotely there.

“I was working from home and I had a dozen bagels on my counter, and I had a lightbulb moment where I said, ‘Hey, I should just make this into a business,'” he said.

Courtesy Photo

He wanted to bring the same homegrown bagel feel to the Philadelphia area, which he felt did not have as many speciality bagel places.

New York Bagel Butler provides deliveries of bagels straight from the New York area to Philadelphia residents, typically from Thursdays to Saturdays. Anker travels to his hometown of Mount Sinai, New York at 2:45 am every Thursday to bring back bagels from his favorite bakeries by 1 pm.

Customers can fill out a delivery form on the company’s website and will have bagels delivered directly to their door on the day they request delivery.

Courtesy Photo

Balancing his work as an administrative assistant at a law firm with running his business can be taxing at times for Anker, but the response thus far has been quite rewarding.

Anker recognized that he hit a gold mine once customers who were originally from the New York area starting migrating to Philadelphia during the height of the pandemic and wanted to get their hands on some New York bagels.

“A big part of the business is building a community around it,” he said. “[The customers] do come back week after week at this point, which is great.”

Since New York Bagel Butler first started in June 2020, Anker has gone from struggling to deliver 20 dozen bagels per week to now delivering 100 dozen per week.

Entrepreneurship comes naturally for Anear, as does philanthropy. He comes from a long line of business owners, including his late grandfather, who was also a frequent donor to the Ronald McDonald House charity.

Giving back has become a huge part of Anker’s brand, as he is involved with donating around 10 to 12 dozen bagels per week to both the Ronald McDonald House as well as the Block Gives Back, a grassroots organization in Philadelphia.

“I like to do good,” he said. “It makes me feel good to do good. Making money is great and all, but there’s more to a business than just racking up a bunch of money.”

He sought to address the hunger crisis that has been brought on by the pandemic specifically when he started New York Bagel Butler.

“The way that I figured the business should be structured is that each week when I give or when I sell bagels, I also can donate bagels,” he said.

As Anker still visits his native Long Island to pick up bagels from select bakeries that he will continue to keep top-secret, he makes time to visit his family, who are proud of his success. He recently was profiled on ABC New York’s Eyewitness News for his endeavor.

“I share everything with my grandma,” he said. “She recently saw the news story that aired on ABC, so she was extremely proud of me for that.”

For more information on New York Bagel Butler, visit https://nybagelbutler.com

Published by Mallika Rao

Freelance Writer, Blogger

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: