BAGEL MANIA: Myles Roberson (left) and Trevor Papsadora Brian Chilson

A press release from The Bagel Shop brings exciting news for Little Rock bagel fans and downtown’s SoMa neighborhood. After six months of operating as a pop-up shop, The Bagel Shop owners Myles Roberson and Trevor Papsadora have secured a location in SoMa to open Little Rock’s only bagel shop. Papsadora, who was raised in Maine, moved to Roberson’s home city of Little Rock in 2020 not knowing the COVID pandemic lurked around the corner. The two have worked alongside award-winning chefs at world class restaurants throughout Portland, Maine.

The Bagel Shop
SOMA DIGS: Trevor Papsadora and Myles Roberson

What began in July 2022 as a farmers market pop-up bagel operation quickly grew into what the Arkansas Times dubbed a summer of “BAGEL MANIA.” The pop-up model plunged The Bagel Shop headlong into a tour of Little Rock neighborhoods, with bagel enthusiasts forming long lines during the heat of the summer to get their hands on fresh, made from scratch bagels. After a few months, when the lines simmered down and the bagel boys found their rhythm, they began to offer not just scratch made bagels & cream cheese, but a slew of beverages, sandwich specials and delicious pastries. A key partnership with Stones Throw Brewing allowed the burgeoning business to develop repeat customers and build a foundation of great customer relationships, the release says.

The Bagel Shop will be located at 1501 S. Main St. in Little Rock, about a block south from Boulevard and The Green Corner store and adjacent to Pink Olive. Roberson and Papsadora hope to open in early summer and plan on serving breakfast and lunch five days a week, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Thu.-Mon.

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The Bagel Shop

“Work-life balance is one of our guiding principles and we’ll strive to achieve that for ourselves and our team.” Roberson said. “That’s how we landed on being open for five days a week instead of the more common six or seven days a week. Plus this gives us a chance to really hammer out the details of service with opportunities to adjust course where needed. As we fill out our team we’d like to open six days a week.”

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In addition to traditional deli offerings like bagels, schmears, smoked fish, sandwiches, soups, and other daily specials, the pair hopes to offer a large selection of pastries, cakes and other fun specialty foods.

“One of my strengths is that I don’t take myself too seriously. I’ve been able to have a lot of fun creating the recipes and sharing them with our customers and our followers on Instagram. I’ve been able to reach back to memories of my childhood in Maine and share some of that with the community here in Little Rock,” Papsadora said. Papsadora grew up baking Whoopie Pies, the Maine State dessert, and was missing them this fall. When advertised as the daily special, they sold out in minutes. “The intersection of nostalgia and good, modern food is what inspires me and the menus I write,” he added.

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Roberson and Papsadora are both excited to be a part of the SoMa neighborhood, citing its classic Southern architecture and charm.

“We love this neighborhood, we love the businesses here and are excited for all the growth happening on this street. We’ve dreamed of opening a restaurant for a long time and this feels like the right place at the right time,” Roberson said.

The Bagel Shop currently operates out of a commissary kitchen and sells bagels for pre-order and pick-up in the parking lot of their soon-to-be bagel shop location. They also offer a range of catering services. It’s been in operation since July 1, 2022. Check out their website at www.thebagel.shop and find them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thebagel.shop