Connoisseurs of bite-sized breakfast items have another reason to smile this morning as Starbucks' bagel balls are tapped for a nationwide roll-out across 7,700 locations in the United States. The item, which has attracted somewhat of a cult following, had people searching for any Starbucks' bagel balls locations they could find—but unless they where in New York, Philadelphia, or Indianapolis, their odds of finding the bite-sized bagels were pretty slim. But that's about to change, as Starbucks announced a deal with Bantam Bagels that will take their signature bagel balls far beyond their East Coast beginnings and into thousands of the chain's locations across the United States.
For Bantam Bagels, bagel balls have equaled big business in a small package. The concept came to the shop's co-owner Nick Oleksak in a dream one night. Oleksak and his wife, Elyse, baked the first test batch the next day. And after a fair amount of tweaking and fiddling with the recipe, the first run of Bantam Bagel's bagel balls were ready for sale out of the company's outpost in Greenwich Village. The bagel balls caught the attention of Oprah, who named Bantam Bagel's products as one of her "favorite things" in 2014.
Bolstered by the Oprah bump, the Oleksaks brought their wares to Shark Tank, where Lori Greiner saw an opportunity to make a small fortune one bagel ball at a time. The duo walked away from the tank with a $275,000 investment and a host of opportunities to take their business to the next level. Starbucks came knocking soon after, ordering Bantam's bagel balls for Starbucks locations in the New York region. The products quickly gained a cult following afterwards; and now, Starbucks bagel balls are going nationwide to over 7,000 of the company's stores.
The Starbucks' bagel ball collaboration has been a huge hit for both companies. At just over 100 calories per ball, the product has been billed as a guilt-free way to enjoy the deliciousness that is a bagel with cream cheese without the bloat of eating a calorie bomb with a schmear. The Oleksaks have basked in the glow of critical acclaim as well: Bantam Bagel reviews have been overwhelmingly positive since the company opened up shop. And of course, they've cleaned house at Starbucks too.
Some people have taken their love for Bantam's bagel balls a step further by putting them on their bucket list.
So if you were willing to sojourn for Starbucks bagel ball before being shuffled off this mortal coil, cancel your Megabus ticket. Your journey may soon be only as far as your nearest Starbucks drive-thru. And at 100 calories per bagel ball, you won't feel guilty for not walking.