When Providence Bagel owner Chris Wietecha opened his little bagel shop back in 2016, he didn’t know if his business would flourish. Flash forward to 2019, and the 30-something bagel purveyor has found himself with a packed bagel shop, a bustling drive-thru window, and a bakery that is at capacity. Not bad for a bagel business that is barely three years old.
Providence Bagel is expanding to include a larger store in North Providence – a move that Chris says has always been in his original business plan. “From day one, when I sort of came up with this idea, it was always to make it into a regional chain versus a one-off thing.” The new store will provide the fledgling chain with the equipment it needs to make more bagels, pastries, and catering items on a much larger scale. The owner is also excited for a bigger seating area and hopes that it can be used for evening events with live music, partnerships with local breweries, and food/drink pop-ups. The new store boasts several varieties of breakfast drinks on tap, including various brews of coffee, teas, and locally made kombuchas.
So, why North Providence? According to Chris, the spot had all the trappings of a successful business location – close to Providence College, on a main thoroughfare with high traffic, and a sizeable building. But, selling bagels was not the only thing on his mind when he took over the new space. Chris is also going to use the new store to help feed hungry neighbors. This mission-driven business has always been involved in helping others, but with increased capability to make food, it can double its collective impact.
“We want to stay involved with our community... at the end of every single day we donate all our end-of-day pastries to the Elisha Project (an organization that helps with food insecurity)... we’ll be able to double that now.”
As Providence Bagel’s populatirty grows, who knows where this chain will pop up next?