It's like Whangarei "needed" a bagel shop.

That's how Biggie Bagels' owners describe their experience at the central Whangarei coffee shop since opening just before Christmas.

"Business has been amazing," said Mark Schmid who, together with Agnes Bormann, own the business.

Biggie Bagels' speciality is hand-rolled, sourdough bagels filled with fresh ingredients and house smoked meats. The bagels can also be vegan/vego friendly.


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Foodies familiar with the Whangarei cafe/food scene may know Mr Schmid and Ms Bormann from their time at La Familia Cafe on the corner Cameron and Walton Sts.

Mr Schmid, who has been a chef for 31 years, and Ms Bormann, who has many years of experience in accounts and administration, opened La Familia and ran it successfully for the past six years.

They sold the business in April 2017 and then decided to open up a smaller and simpler operation.

"With our love for baking quality breads, the growing popularity of bagels and the only supply in Whangarei being what you can buy at the supermarket, it looked like there was a niche for a bagelry.

"We have teamed up with Red Man Espresso, a new business that specialises in excellent coffee and training of future baristas.

Mr Schmid said the most rewarding part of the experience was the amazing customer feedback both on the food and the look of the shop.

"Hearing from Americans and especially New Yorkers, where the bagel became most popular that we 'could hold our own over there' was definitely a highlight."

He said the most challenging part of setting up the business so far was managing the production, supply and demand out of a very small kitchen space.

"We aim to provide fast food that's fresh, healthy and good value for money - with a smile," he said.

To be successful in the food industry you have to be flexible, able to adapt to the ever changing environment, be passionate about food and enjoy customer interaction.

"We'd like to thank Big Fish Creative and Frankensignz for their amazing work on our corporate identity."