The Bagel Bakery opened in 2000 as a part of the Chesapeake Bagel Bakery franchise, then left and became the independent Bagel Bakery. Its owner is Ken Rembert, a Gainesville resident since 1972 and UF alumni. Ken started his career in forestry, then worked retail with his father and later opened the Bagel Bakery.
Ken travels to Guatemala at least once a year to import coffee that is roasted in the store. During these trips, he meets the farmers and their families. In addition, Ken donates money to the water filter, eyeglass and school programs in Guatemala. All money from the tip jar goes directly to the school program, and computers have been donated to the program in the past.
The Bagel Bakery is committed to the Gainesville community and to the environment, donating day-old bagels multiple times per week (especially to local marathons and races) and recycling all plastic, newspaper and cardboard. Coffee grounds are also given to local gardens for use as fertilizer.
Since its opening, the Bagel Bakery’s menu has expanded from serving bagels and cream cheese to include wraps, focaccia bread and design-your-own salads.