Ezra’s Bagels is a comfortable and homey cafe located in Prague 7. Chelsea Phillips and Giuseppe Catanzariti have only owned the shop since October of this year.
However, they’ve been selling bagels for over a year now through Facebook and online and the story of how it all started is quite a good one.
Chelsea is originally from New York and Giuseppe from Boston. “He’s like an adopted New Yorker,” Chelsea said, “we got married in New York the last time we lived in America was in New York”.
When Chelsea was pregnant with their son, Ezra, she was craving a bagel, “ I tried to find some all over Europe and I just could never find any,” Chelsea said, “so I asked a friend to bring a baker’s dozen (from the states) because I was just craving bagels, it was literally the only thing I was craving. And my friend forgot them on her counter next to her keys so I was super disappointed so Giuseppe said why don’t we just try to make bagels and I was like do you understand what a time process that is.”
So Giuseppe said they should just try to make some themselves. After they did some research they decided to make some bagels. “When I was a kid I used to tale field trips through bagels shops so I knew how to shape and roll the bagels but I’d never done the whole process.” They had to try different recipes a couple of times but eventually, they found the perfect recipe.
The couple moved to Prague four years ago in February. “We both had lived in Europe before we met each other, I lived in London, Ireland, and Germany. He lived in Cyprus, and then we both went back to America at around the same time and ended up meeting there, got married within eight months of meeting and then decided we wanted to get back to Europe.”
When asked if they owned a bagel place in New York: “No, we shopped at a lot of bagel places though.” Neither of them had any professional baking or restaurant experience prior to their cafe, “we spent a lot of time in cafes but never worked in them,” Giuseppe said. They both had online jobs as freelancers and so they decided to travel through Europe for three years.
“We ended up in Prague because of the location and the art and the community.”
Their business set off after they posted their bagels on Facebook and a friend messaged them, “I need to buy some bagels from you,” and after that Giuseppe suggested they start selling them on Facebook just to see what would happen.
“It kinda blew up on us,” they said, “We thought we would sell one order a week but it was like five a day. Then the opportunity to get the shop opened so we jumped on it and went in blind a little bit.” The shop is now full of life and creative flow as the interior was designed to feel like home, or like a living room.
One of the things that makes Ezera’s Bagels so special is that they have craft fairs where they have singers and homemade art or candles being sold.
“The big thing that was missing from our experience in Prague was a cafe where we felt like we could hang out. The community here was really nice to us so we wanted to give something back, we have this big space and we thought why not let people sell their homemade things, it’s just a nice way to bring people together,” says Chelsea.
If you ever find yourself craving warm, classic New York bagels, that are also 100% vegan.
Ezra’s bagels will surely supply it along with a home-like community of people who love art and homemade goods. “I make the bagels by myself one by one,” Chelsea said, so it’s clear to see these bagels are some of the best you can get.