Big changes, new bagels and a viral video, all new from Lefty’s Bagels


Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

If your first rule of where you buy your bagels is to buy from someone who is sort of mean, no fun, and doesn’t like making bagels, then please read no further. The guy’s from Lefty’s Bagels are not for you.

Here’s proof, and just in time for National Bagel Day!

Starting a business in the middle of a pandemic is not for the weak of heart. But that is exactly what brothers-in-law, best buddies and Temple Israel congregants Scott Lefton and Doug Goldenberg did.

Since April 2021, their business “Lefty’s Bagels” has been making and selling fresh boil-and-bake bagels, handcrafted from Lefton’s own recipe. The bagels are available on weekends at the Baker’s Hub in Chesterfield, which is now The Trolley Stop Bakery (67 Forum Shopping Center Chesterfield, Mo. 63017) Patrons can choose among four varieties — plain, poppy, sesame, and everything.

“Scott’s been making bagels from home for the last couple of years  — it’s one of his passion projects,” explained Goldenberg, who is married to Lefton’s older sister Elizabeth. “He’d bake them for friends and family, and every time people kept clamoring for more. When we found the Bakers Hub it was like, well, we can get into this without a whole lot of risk and see how it goes.”

It went well.

New For 2022

As it happens, Lefty’s has some very big plans for 2022 and beyond.

“Since opening in April, we’ve learned if you want to get good at something, do it about 25,000 times,” said Lefton.

In less than 12 months Lefty’s has produced approximately that number of bagels and believe they improved their skills with each one.

“We’ve noticed that changes in temperature and humidity all have a really big effect on virtually all aspects of the bagel-making and baking process,” said Lefton. “We like to think we have gotten very good at sensing things like proof times and temperatures, all while trying to get a good feel on how to make a bagel.

Over time, Goldenberg and Lefton would change methods several times, looking for the right one to maximize labor and scale while maintaining their creativity.

“We’ve also learned a lot about our customers, what they expect and what they like,” said Lefton. “For example, our customers tend to prefer ‘savory flavors.’ Our everything bagel is one of our most popular and any time we make a new bagel flavor, the savory one tends to sell the best. We will definitely play to this in 2022 when thinking about new bagel favors.”

More bagels, more bagels, and more bagels

Currently, Lefty’s produces between 350 and 450 bagels for sale on Saturday but plans to grow that by acquiring new equipment to scale well beyond those numbers.

“We plan to make as many bagels as we want to meet market demands.  While we believe it will take some time to ramp up, we are working towards having bagels freshly baked each day, six days a week,” said Lefton.

In addition to bagels, Lefty’s is hoping to make various bagel sandwiches and lox available as well. With the ability to rev up bagel production, they will be re-instating pre-orders and offering catering services.

“We think it would be great to offer bagel boxes and schmears for office meetings, parties, family gatherings, especially things like brunches, and everything from bris’ to bar/bat mitzvahs,” said Lefton.

Lefty’s is constantly looking to expand on the current “bagel think” around the world. A good example is their “half-and-half” bagel.

The Half And Half Bagel

“One morning Scott was having fun topping the bagels and came up with the idea for the indecisive customer,” said Lefton.

Customers quickly took to the new bagels, and soon Lefton moved onto his next concept, swirls.

“Instead of just a regular cinnamon raisin where the cinnamon flavor is throughout the dough, we wanted to have a unique way of distributing the cinnamon through the bagel to make a really pretty swirl pattern,” said Lefton.

This practice enhances the cinnamon flavor in the bagel and now they are doing the same thing with the chocolate chip and blueberry bagels.

Cinnamon raisin swirl bagel after boiling on a bagel board about to be baked in the ovens.

More new stuff

Lefty’s is also experimenting with a collaboration with Diane Wood, the owner of The Trolley Track Cookie Company.  Apparently, Wood makes a dynamite quiche, so Lefton and Goldenberg are tinkering with a quiche stuffed bagel.

“Since you can do so many different flavors of quiche, we’re going to have a lot of fun with this idea,” said Lefton.

And keep your eyes open for some new styles and flavors of bagels coming soon. Rye and pumpernickel are expected soon, followed by the arrival of Lefty’s first whole wheat bagel.

“We found an amazing local wheat producer and grain mill in Ashkum, Ill.,” said Lefton. “This wheat is certified organic, non-GMO whole wheat. We think what they’re doing is really fantastic and look forward to featuring this flour in our whole wheat specialty bagel.”

Be sure to find Lefty’s Bagels on Facebook for their latest offerings, and online.