CBIA BizCast: Early Success for Connecticut Bagel Business

“We’ve got this great runway to really become nationwide with the concept,” PopUp Bagels CFO Jamie Lissette tells the BizCast. 

Like many people Adam Goldberg started to bake during the COVID-19 pandemic—specifically bagels. 

Goldberg’s bagels were so good, that he started selling them to friends out the back window of his kitchen in Westport.

That hobby turned into an idea that became PopUp Bagels.

“Fast forward two or three years, he opened a store in Westport, opened another store in Greenwich, and then in the city, and it’s really just exploded,” PopUp Bagels CFO Jamie Lissette told the CBIA BizCast. 

Lissette said the New York City location often has lines that stretch out the door.

Made in Connecticut

PopUp’s concept is to conveniently offer superior bagels and spreads. 

“It takes us about 20 minutes from start to finish—the whole process to produce the bagels for our customers,” Lissette said. 

“So it’s there prior to them coming in. Most of our customers are in and out within two minutes once they’re in the store.”

“We take the opportunity to do a lot of collaborations with spreads,” Lissette said. 

“We love Connecticut.”

PopUp Bagels’ Jamie Lissette

PopUp also focuses on offering unique and varied spreads, or schmears.

“We’ve done one with Utz potato chips, with their cheese balls. It’s just a unique way of getting a variation every week.”

PopUp makes all of its products at its facility in Newtown. 

“We love Connecticut,” Lissette said. “We’ve got a huge production team, we’ve got a great president of manufacturing.”

Poised for Growth

Lissette said PopUp is set up for significant growth in the next few months with new locations in New York and Connecticut. 

“We only have five stores,” he said. “In the next six months, we’ll add almost seven stores.”

“We’ve got this great runway to really become nationwide with the concept.” 

“They’re coming in the store because they’ve heard about it, and they love it.”


Lissette attributes some of the company’s growth to its success with homegrown, organic marketing on social media. 

“Instagram in particular has been huge for us,” he said.

“There’s a celebrity part of it. But they’re coming in the store because they’ve heard about it, and they love it. 

“It’s just really organic, because people love the product. So it makes it really super easy.”

Career Change

Lissette joined the company in February, after spending nearly five years as chief operating officer at Athletic Brewing

During Lissette’s time with Athletic, the company saw remarkable growth and was twice featured on Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing companies.

“At my age in my career, it was like, okay, what’s next?”


“At my age in my career, it was like, ‘okay, what’s next?’” Lissette said. 

“I like to build. We’re on top. If I’m ever going to take my next chance, right, this is the time.”

Lissette is hoping his experience at Athletic will help spur similar success at PopUp Bagels. 

Right People

He said that having the right people in place, and having everyone aligned as a team is the key element when a company is building quickly. 

“If you don’t have the right people with you, I don’t think you can succeed,” he said. 

“If you have the right people and you’re all aligned, you can accomplish anything.”


“If you have the right people and you’re all aligned, you can accomplish anything.

“It’s just that constant pushing each other. And if everybody’s on the same trajectory with you, and they understand it, then you get there.”

The CBIA BizCast is made possible through the generous support of Google. Please rate, review, and subscribe to the BizCast wherever you get your podcasts—we appreciate your support! If you have a story to tell, contact Amanda Marlow.


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