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Hole In One

Delivery and a lot more than bagels

The doors behind him shut out the January chill as Brian Wood stepped into his new store just before opening day. Standing on polished ceramic tile floors, he inspected the framed murals of New York City, then turned his attention to signs pointing out the store's five departments: bagels, sandwiches, hot coffee, smoothies and catering.

Wood, 39, had opened stores before, but this one was different. Wood's Newtown, Pennsylvania, Manhattan Bagel was the first to open with the system's new store design. Reducing construction costs by $25,000 to $50,000, the design cuts corners on artwork, signage and flooring and emphasizes that Manhattan Bagel isn't just about bagels.

"We do a lot of things people don't think about," Wood says. "If a family knew they could have breakfast delivered to their house instead of rolling out of bed [to make breakfast], they would probably stay at home and let us bring them some bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches."

Whether it's delivery, catering, coffee or lunch, Manhattan Bagel has focused on expanding its offerings. With the success of his first Manhattan Bagel five miles away in Richboro, Pennsylvania, Wood expects sales of $525,000 and more than $560,000 this year in Richboro and Newtown, respectively. Not too shabby, especially when you consider he's already saved $50,000 with the second store's $175,000 start-up price tag. And, just in case his businesses need a little help to reach those sales figures, he'll be close at hand. Wood's new house sits less than a quarter-mile from his Richboro store.

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This story appears in the March 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »