Benny’s Bagels owner Andrew Christy said he believes it is important to contribute and help the community for his business to be successful.
“I’m just here to give back to society because I have one belief: Your business is only as strong as long as the community is strong,” he said.
Christy and his wife, Miling, bought the Benny’s Bagels location in McKinney eight years ago.
Benny’s Bagels used to be a franchise with many locations throughout Texas. The location in McKinney opened in 1999. However, since then, each Benny’s has become independently-owned and -operated.
“Since we’ve bought the store eight years ago, we have increased sales tenfold,” Christy said. “We’ve improved the quality of the bagels; we introduced more drink options and added wraps; but our main business continues to be bagels and breakfast sandwiches.”
Every morning at 2:30 a.m., Christy and his staff start the day by baking. They start by turning on the boiler and heating the stone oven to 500 degrees. Then they boil the frozen bagel dough for five minutes, reshape the dough, add seeds and then bake.
At the end of the day, Christy said he and his staff freeze the leftover bagels and donate them every week to Community Lifeline, which is a nonprofit organization that provides food and educational programs among other services for residents in McKinney and north Collin County.
Christy also drops off leftover bagels at the McKinney Police Department as well as some of the McKinney ISD schools.
“Unless our community is strong, we’ll never be strong so that’s why we do a lot of this work,” Christy said.
Christy and his family considered expanding, but he said he does not want to walk away from what makes them stand out.
“We’re too mom-and-pop; I work here, my wife works here and my son [works here],” he said. “If I start opening other locations then I spread myself too thin, and then that’s when we become an impersonal chain that doesn’t have that [customer]interaction.”
At Benny’s Bagels, there are eight kinds of cream cheeses to choose from. The bagel shop starts with plain cream cheese as its base and makes seven other cream cheeses in-house. Flavors include:
- Garlic cheddar
- Honey almond
- Honey walnut
- Onion & chives