More than 500 Starbucks locations in the Northeast have started selling cream cheese-stuffed bagel balls, according to several published reports. Priced at $1.75 each or $2.95 for two, the bagel balls come in plain stuffed with regular cream cheese or French toast with maple cream cheese. According to the bakery that produces the bagel balls, New York City-based Bantam Bagels, the product is available in most stores in Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and New York City.
Bantam Bagels’ co-owners Nick and Elyse Oleksak, graduates from Columbia University who spent years in their fast-paced jobs on Wall Street, originally did not think that a bagel company would be their next step. In fact, the idea for mini stuffed bagel balls actually came to Nick in a dream. After making hundreds of test batches made in their Brooklyn apartment, the couple found the perfect recipe and the mini stuffed bagel ball was born.
Excited to start their own business, Elyse and Nick traded their small apartment kitchen for their very own shop on Bleecker Street. The bagel critics of New York City not only accepted their new twist on the bagel, but after being open for less than a year, Bantam Bagels was named one of the top three bagels by the New York Daily News, according to the company.
With demand for their mini stuffed bagel balls growing outside of New York City, Elyse and Nick started making plans to share their mini stuffed bagel balls with everyone from coast to coast. Not stopping there, Bantam Bagels went on to win the stamp of approval from Oprah Winfrey, who included Bantam Bagels as part of her list of “Favorite Things” in 2014. Bantam Bagels can now be shipped nationwide from its website, www.bantambagels.com. Most recently, Nick and Elyse landed a successful deal after an appearance on ABC’s hit television show Shark Tank, where big investors agree to fund promising ideas.
According to Eater.com, bagel balls bear a striking resemblance to the bagel bombs sold at pastry chef and cookbook author Christina Tosi's New York-based bakery Momofuku Milk Bar. Some of those sold at Momofuku have slightly more adventurous fillings like sriracha cream cheese and potato gratin.