How Bath bagel shop has filled a hole in the food market
Bath's only bagel shop is proving that feeding the city is the best way to beat an economic downturn.
The Whole Bagel has this autumn opened new larger premises on Upper Borough Walls and now provides an area where customers can eat in.
The expansion has allowed the company, which is run by friends Michael Healy and Simon Clarke, to more than double in size, with the number of staff going up from four to ten.
Mr Healy said: "We were in number four Upper Borough Walls and now we are in number eight. The move has allowed us to expand and has given us opportunity to rebrand and relaunch the shop."
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He added: "We were missing out on a lot of business from our customers who wanted to sit in and eat lunch.
"When we first had the concept the climate at the time was very different and it was very difficult in Bath to find a property big enough.
"We took number four because it was that or nothing, then the recession hit and a lot more properties have become available."
Mr Healy, who was once a chef at the Royal Crescent Hotel, said the business had done nothing but grow since its launch six years ago.
He said: "We've bucked the trend year on year – we've had growth every year since we started. Obviously we've found a niche and that has allowed us to grow and expand."
He added: "The new premises are going amazingly well and response has been really good. The biggest thing for us was keeping a point of difference with other outlets and we are the only bagel shop in town."
In the new year the Whole Bagel hopes to launch an online ordering service where customers will be able to order and pay for their bagel via the a website and go to the shop just to collect their food.