A brother and sister have gotten into the entrepreneurial spirit during the COVID-19 pandemic, opening a bagel delivery business. Their efforts aren’t for profit but to help local charities.
Posey Lester-Niles, 17, and brother Finn Lester-Niles, 20, started Boneshaker Bagels a couple of weeks ago as a way to keep busy while they were stuck at home.
“Posey and I were back from school and we had a lot of time on our hands and were looking for something to do,” Finn said.
Neither Posey nor Finn had ever made bagels before but their interest was piqued by an online video, so they gave it a try.
“... I saw you boil them and I thought, 'Oh,’” Posey said.
They shared their initial efforts with neighbors and got positive responses. Then they decided to advertise their product on Instagram, offering to deliver the bagels on their bicycles.
“This way we get to get outside every day,” Posey said. “Finn has biked across country. And I’ve been building my own bike.”
The name Boneshaker Bagels is a reference to early bikes, called boneshakers because the ride was so bumpy.
They are making bagels in five flavors: plain, everything, cinnamon sugar, sea salt and rosemary, and sundried tomato and basil.
They mix the dough the day before but then wait until the morning to bake, so the bagels are delivered fresh the same day.
They ask for a donation of $8 for each half-dozen and $15 for each dozen. They also offer a list of local nonprofits, including Second Harvest Food Bank, Meals on Wheels and No Kid Hungry. People can pay in cash upon delivery or through Venmo. They even let customers donate directly to whichever nonprofit they choose.
Customers can order by sending a message through the Boneshaker Bagels Instagram account or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posey said she took a ServSafe food-safety class online, and she and her brother use gloves and masks when making deliveries or handling the food.
As of April 9, they had received 55 orders and $589 in donations.
So far, all of the proceeds have gone to nonprofits because the siblings’ parents have been paying for all supplies. That may change, Posey said, because they are getting busier.
They start from home in Winston-Salem's West End so the two will deliver to such areas as downtown, Ardmore, Washington Park and Buena Vista.
“We’ll get in the car if we have to,” Finn said, noting that they have gotten orders from Clemmons. People even contacted them from Greensboro, but they turned those down.
For them, biking is a central part of the project.
“It turns out to be an hour bike ride” for most deliveries, Posey said. “This is a way to get out of the house, and we get to work with our hands.”