CT’s PopupBagels’ new celebrity ‘angel’ investors include Paul Rudd, Michael Phelps

Others include Hollywood producer John Davis, TV host and former NFL star Michael Strahan and current NFL players J.J. and T.J. Watt

PopupBagels, which started during the pandemic, has built a loyal following for its bagels and "schmears" around Fairfield County, with weekend pickup locations in towns like Greenwich, Redding and Westport. Now, it has celebrity investors.

The company announced a new capital round Tuesday, led by Hollywood producer John Davis, who has helped incubate brands like Blaze Pizza, Wetzel’s Pretzels and Dave's Hot Chicken. Other investors include Darren Rovell’s Tastemaker Capital, as well as branding agency Red Antler, and Matt LaCasse, Paul Applebaum and Sam Hendel.

Angel investors include actors Patrick Schwarzenegger and Paul Rudd; NFL players J.J. Watt and T.J. Watt, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps; and former NFL player and TV host Michael Strahan and his business partner Constance Schwartz-Morini. 

“PopupBagels started as a home kitchen project to share my love for baking, and a unique bagel recipe with friends,” said founder Adam Goldberg in a statement. “As word spread, customers began clamoring for our bagels and we began to expand our operation. I’m thrilled to have the support of many experienced investors as we prepare to scale.”

Capital raised from the seed round will be used to grow the company’s corporate team and prepare for expansion, with plans to leverage small footprint storefronts and existing under-utilized restaurant kitchens. Growth will be starting in the Northeast. 

The New York Times featured Goldberg's bagel bakery in April, which has earned a following in the city with pop-ups in Manhattan and Brooklyn (and the Hamptons) over the past two and a half years. Goldberg and his team have hosted events at Danny Meyer's Daily Provisions (the celebrity restaurateur is a fan), and their bagels earned top honors two years in a row at Brooklyn BagelFest.

PopupBagels "started as a backyard pickup window to share a newly created bagel recipe with friends," according to its website. Goldberg told the Times he and his cousin, Jeff Lewis, were baking sourdough bread during the first months of the pandemic and grew tired of it, instead looking up bagel recipes to create their ideal product.

The Times describes PopupBagels' product as "smaller, airier and crisper" than a traditional New York bagel, with a texture similar to a baguette. Goldberg said the dough is double-proofed, which adds flavor and creates a softer interior and more robust crust.

The bagels are only sold in advance by the dozen with two schmears, baked fresh for pickup at one of their permanent or pop-up locations. Schmears include rotating flavored cream cheeses and butters, in varieties like grilled scallion, UTZ cheeseball, dill pickle, chili crunch butter and white truffle butter.

Visit popupbagels.com for information and pickup locations.