Amy Wojcik bought the 16-year-old Empire Bagel Factory at 277 N. Collier Blvd. three years ago and grew the business until it outgrew Marco Island. Now, she has just opened Empire Bagel Factory’s Naples store.
“I’m a morning person,” says Wojcik, who serves fresh-baked bagels, doughnuts and muffins at Empire Bagel Factory to more morning people on Marco every day. “In the morning, we make all the dough for the bagels. The next morning, we put everything on them. We come in at 4:30 a.m., and bake them up. So, you can have anything you want; if you want pumpernickel with onion, you can have it. If we don’t have it ready, we can make it – absolutely anything,” says Wojcik.
Both locations are open seven days a week, and everything is made fresh daily. “We have the same group, every single day,” says Wojcik. “They come in, they laugh, they talk politics, they have so much fun, they’re awesome. We’re like a family. We’d do anything for each other. If one of us needs something, all we have to do is pick up the phone.”
Year-round Islanders, seasonal residents, visitors and vacationers, even people who drive from Naples, choose from 15 different kinds of bagels and nine varieties of cream cheese to top them with, for just $2.
“And, we all start our morning with the Marco Island Eagle. No, we really do. Even our employees,” says Wojcik. “It wasn’t waiting for our chef when he arrived this morning, so he went to go get it. By the end of the morning, they’re all gone.”
Choose from plain, sesame, poppy, cinnamon raisin, garlic, onion, asiago cheese, rye, pumpernickel, cinnamon sugar, blueberry, salt, wheat or spinach. Chef Marco Magdelenar says the Empire Bagel Factory’s best seller is the plain bagel. “It’s like vanilla ice cream,” he says. “Everyone wants it.” Bagels are served with plain, light, veggie, scallion, cinnamon honey walnut, strawberry, sun-dried tomato, jalapeno or lox flavored cream cheeses, all made from fresh ingredients, in-house.
Eggs with sausage, bacon or ham are also on the menu at Empire Bagel Factory, and so are omelets, made to order for just $5. Or, try a blueberry, double chocolate chip, corn, lemon poppyseed. Sugar free/fat free apple raisin bran muffins are served warm with butter for $2.
Empire Bagel Factory’s doughnuts are Wojcik’s personal favorite. “They’re so soft, so warm, so good, I don’t know why,” she says. “They just are the best doughnuts you’ve ever had.” At $1, they might be the best-priced doughnuts around, too.
At Empire Bagel Factory, you can order ahead, so you can always get what you want. “Come in, or just leave a message,” says Wojcik. “We’ll have it ready for you.”
If you go:
9995 East Tamiami Trail
6:30 a.m.- 1 p.m., weekdays
6:30 a.m.- noon, weekends