Long Island native starts bagel business in Philadelphia with focus on giving back

NEW YORK CITY -- After Josh Anker made a permanent move to Philadelphia's Northern Liberties section, he missed a little something from his hometown of Long Island, New York: the bagels.

"I kind of grew up eating bagels three times a week. I would bring back bagels from New York. I just kind of had this light bulb moment: 'Why don't I just make this into a business,'" said Anker.

The business ended up being, Bagel Butler, a bagel delivery service that brings the taste of New York style bagels to Philly. He started in June, a few months into the pandemic, and at that time, he saw a need within the community.

"The timing was like right in the middle of the pandemic, a big focus of the business has always been to give back. So from the first delivery (and) every single delivery since, I've made sure to donate bagels," he said.

While making deliveries, he stops at local organizations like The Block Gives Back and the Ronald McDonald House to volunteer his time and donate as many bagels as he can.

"I love going there, they're awesome. I just pull into their loading dock and give them eight dozen bagels at a time and they just take them in, and they're always so happy to get them," said Anker.

So far, he's given away close to 5,000 bagels and only hopes to give out more.

"It's just a very rewarding. It's just a feeling you can't get from anything else. It's almost like you hit the lotto but it's more it's better than hitting the lottery," said Anker. "Food is so important. Food insecurity is unfortunately a rampant thing. If I'm able to help it one person at a time, one bagel at a time, I'm going to do that."

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