If you haven’t heard of him already, Brendan Dodd, also known as “Bagel Boy,” is dominating the bagel game in NOLA right now. The twenty-three-year-old Loyola University graduate bakes dozens of bagels from 2:00-6:30am every morning so that he can be ready to distribute them fresh to coffee shops around the city. Brendan says he makes around 250-300 bagels every day in his rented kitchen space in Uptown. He needs no help in the kitchen but hired two delivery employees so that he no longer has to deliver the bagels alone on his iconic delivery bike. When does he sleep? According to Brendan, he sleeps “sporadically” whenever he can find the time.
Bagel Boy studied marketing in school, which helped him learn tools to run a successful business. He also worked at Jimmy John’s for all four years of college, gaining the experience of delivering sandwiches on his bike. During Brendan’s senior year, he worked at Humble Bagel, which is where he first learned how to make bagels. Once he learned the bagel trade, Bagel Boy began experimenting with a variety of different ingredients until he discovered his winning recipe. Every day, Humble Bagel employees would throw away the leftover bagels that didn’t get purchased that day. Brendan thought of the idea to take them home and distribute them to students around his campus for free. People quickly started calling him “Bagel Boy,” joking and teasing him about his (then) little enterprise. The name stuck and ended up being the inspiration for the name of his business.
Bagel Boy and I met for coffee so I could learn more about his exciting entrepreneurial path, and also a bit more about who he is outside of the kitchen. In addition to baking bagels up to six hours daily, Brendan has already finished three marathons and plans to do more in the upcoming year. Running around Audubon Park and the Garden District is one of his favorite ways to clear his head and de-stress. One of his favorite restaurants is Adams Street Po Boy, as it never fails to satisfy his cravings with their ~dank~ New Orleans style sandwiches. Other than the occasional Po Boy, however, Bagel Boy told me that he “sticks to bagels as his main choice of carbohydrate and eats at least two a day.” He loves bagel sandwiches from Stein’s and daily drink specials at Bruno’s Tavern.
Brendan’s bagels are uniquely doughy and flavorful, so definitely check out his Instagram (@bagelboynola) and order a batch from his website right now! You can also grab one of Bagel Boy’s originals at a local coffee shop, such as Mojo Coffee House, Rue De La Course, Orleans Espresso, and Pressed NOLA. Brendan said that he hopes to have his own kitchen and store soon, and eventually make bagel sandwiches. But for now, he is just happy that his love and passion for bagels has turned into a successful, rapidly growing company. Bagel Boy shared that he feels lucky to be able to bring joy to people while doing what he loves.
Also be sure to Catch Bagel Boy at the Crescent’s Art + Music Student Showcase on Newcomb Quad from 6-8PM on April 12th!