By Michelle Caceres

Nelson Ramos, owner of FishHawk Bagels, is turning off his alarm when most people are still sawing logs. He rises at 1:45 a.m. (yep, you’re reading this right), drives to his shop, located at 13435 FishHawk Blvd. in the River Springs Shopping Center at the corner of Bell Shoals Road and FishHawk Boulevard, to begin the arduous multi-stepped process of creating some of the best bagels in town.

“If you want a really good New York-style bagel you have to boil them and then bake them,” said Ramos, who has been cooking up bagels on FishHawk Boulevard for more than eight years.
His process produces bagels that have a shiny and crunchy outside but are soft and chewy on the inside.

Over the years friends have tried to encourage him to skip the boiling step, reducing the preparation time and allowing him to get a little more sleep.

“No way,” said Ramos. “I just can’t cut corners.”

Ramos serves up 16 different flavored bagels, all freshly baked daily in the store served with cream cheeses, butter, peanut butter, or lox. Customers arrive early to get the best selection.
FishHawk resident and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seminary teacher Jenie Hunter sometimes stops at FishHawk Bagels, which is on her way to class, to pick up a treat for her students. Her class begins at 6 a.m.

“The shop’s location is so convenient and I’m glad they open early,” she said. “I have bought doughnuts in the past and they’re hit or miss with my students but everyone’s always happy to eat bagels.”

Bagels aren’t the only menu items. For the lunch crowd, Ramos serves a variety of bagel sandwiches including tuna melts, chicken salad, BLT and more. Caffeine junkies can get their fix with a selection of gourmet coffees and teas. Fruit smoothies are also served.

The menu has also expanded recently to include a selection of made from scratch pastries and cupcakes. Soups are now served on the weekends.

The menu isn’t the only thing that’s expanded. The shop has added an extra 1,500 sq.ft. of space and now includes seating for 42 customers.

“People wanted a place to sit down and eat and I listened to that,” said Ramos.

FishHawk Bagels is open Monday through Friday 5 a.m.–3 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m.–3 p.m. and Sunday 6 a.m.–2 p.m. Visit www.fishhawkbagels.com or call 661-2878.