By Barbara Brewer La Mere
Chris Naughton said he had a dream of opening
a bagel shop for at least 20 years.
Now he and his wife, Donna Arini, own and
operate West End Bagels at 5 Southside Drive in
Naughton is from Rockland County. Arini is from
Brooklyn. Naughton’s bagel dreams were nurtured
as he worked in various delis and bagel shops during
his high school and college years.
He and Arini both wound up working locally in the
corporate world. They found that they and other locals
with downstate roots had longings for New York
City-style bagels and other baked goods. They would
often bring them back from their downstate visits.
About 10 years ago, Naughton and Arini started kicking around the idea of having a bagel shop. Two years ago, they began their quest in earnest, trying out different bagel recipes in their home kitchen and seeking the advice of other bagel entrepreneurs.
They found one man who had six bagel shops in the New York metropolitan area who was willing to part with his recipes and offer them additional advice in setting up their business. A friend with a bagel business in New Jersey provided training in bagel basics and beyond.
The result is an 18-seat establishment with a cafe-type feel, that features bagels made from scratch, on-site. The cream cheeses, whipped up in the shop, come in regular and low-fat options, with honey- walnut, strawberry, veggie, and bacon-scallion flavors, available to go in quarter and half-pound containers.
Arini said she wants to present local products in the shop and so the coffee they sell is from a local roaster. The eggs are fresh, not made from powder, and cooked in front of the customer on the griddle. Tuna and chicken salad for sandwiches are made in the shop.
In addition to bagels (sold in baker’s dozens) the shop also sells muffins, and coffee cakes, baked at West End Bagels as well. A few items are not local. Bialys, Polish-style bagels, and gluten-free bagels are “imported” from downstate and the lox are from Nova Scotia, the owners said.
Artwork by local artists is featured on West End Bagels’ walls, with displays changing every few weeks. West End Bagels offers catering services.
Shop hours are 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. The phone number is 952-4762. The website address is westendbagels.com.