Scott Lefton has a passion for bagels. According to his brother-in-law and business partner, Doug Goldenberg, it borders on obsession.

“He eats, sleeps, and breathes it, if you will,” Doug says.

Why bagels? Because the bread is “beloved” by almost everyone, says Scott, and after observing a shared delight among friends and family for his original recipe, Scott decided to open up his own bagel shop. “Kids, my friends, older generations, republicans, democrats—everyone seemed to be on board,” Scott jokes.

Lefty’s Bagels, owned by Scott and Doug, is a shop in Chesterfield, located in The Baker’s Hub of Forum Shopping Center. The store is now open for business, weekends-only on Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM. and Sunday 9 AM to 2 PM. Pre-orders are accepted, and walk-ins are encouraged. You’re better off arriving early, though, as the demand for Lefty’s Bagels has been “insane,” according to Scott, with bagels selling out within an hour or two of business.

Scott Lefton

Starting Lefty’s within the parameters of The Baker’s Hub, a co-op, has given Scott and Doug an advantage when it comes to overhead costs and the normal trials of operating a restaurant.

“Brick-and-mortar is expensive,” Doug says. Operating out of the co-op, with an industrial kitchen, all of the necessary equipment and the staff to sell products already supplied by The Baker’s Hub, has allowed for an excellent start for Lefty’s.

Doug and Scott are of Jewish descent, and the New York inspired bagel most of us are familiar with was developed by the Jewish people who settled in the city and began producing the original taste, flavor, and process of the American bagel.

The process, according to Doug, includes forming the dough, letting it rise, then boiling it in “sweet water,” typically with honey or malt syrup, then baking. The whole process creates a “melt in your mouth” flavor, Doug says, and results in a bagel with a soft interior and sweet, crunchy exterior.

Starting a business in the midst of a global pandemic, let alone one in the food industry, would seem like a shaky premise at best, but Doug and Scott says the assistance and structure provided by The Baker’s Hub has made the process easy. In addition, the closings of many restaurant businesses unable to withstand the pressures of COVID-19 restrictions has eliminated a lot of competition for Lefty’s Bagels. The closing of Scott’s neighborhood bagel shop was another reason he got the idea to start his own business selling bagels.

Doug Goldenberg

“We realized there’s a demand out there,” Doug says. “And it’s a to-go business, so we already fit the mold of COVID.”

Lefty’s Bagels works because of the combination of efforts from its owners—Scott’s creativity and innovation, and Doug’s business savvy and experience. Although both men currently work in internet technology, Doug has experience working in catering and in the food industry and says he “knows the way around” an industrial kitchen.

Right now, Lefty’s Bagels serves plain, sesame, everything, and poppy-flavored bagels. Mastering those basic fan-favorites is a crucial part of getting the bagel business off the ground, Scott says.

Plain bagels are the hardest to perfect, Scott says, because it’s a lot harder to hide mistakes. With a blueberry or cinnamon raisin bagel, for instance—bagel flavors Lefty’s will eventually turn out—there are more ingredients and more room for error.

If the momentum for Lefty’s Bagels continues to build and the shop continues to sell out within a matter of hours, Lefty’s will eventually move out of The Baker’s Hub and into a more traditional brick-and-mortar structure. Perhaps even adding bagel sandwiches, coffee, and other menu items to its repertoire.

For information on Lefty’s Bagels and how to pre-order from the shop, visit Lefty’s Facebook page at