Shelly Fisher is opening her Shelly Belly NY Bagels storefront at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 25. She’s customized the former Donut Depot Plus corner suite at 1190 E. Highway 372 and will serve breakfast and lunch there.
For Fisher — AKA “The Bagel Lady” who got her start here as a one-woman door-to-door sales operation — the opening of her brick-and-mortar business this weekend has been a culmination of building and growing a strong brand over the past two years in Pahrump.
Once the town got a taste of Fisher’s bagels, we clearly wanted more.
“I’m not Jewish, but the Jewish people have a word — I get ‘verklempt’ where I just have to go, ‘OMG, I just can’t believe that at age 62, I’m finally good at something!’” Fisher said of her entrepreneurial milestone. “I’m frickin’ good at something people like — and I like doing it.”
Never had ‘em? What to expect
When you walk into Shelly Belly NY Bagels this weekend, you’ll notice the wall that depicts a Manhattan street with taxis charging at you. The new space accommodates about 22 customers who can sit down for breakfast or lunch, or stand up at the stainless-steel snack bar that’s kind of “just like Manhattan,” Fisher says.
Shelly Belly NY Bagels will offer bagels, cream cheeses and coffee, in addition to breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
“Lox will need to wait for a bit,” Fisher said. “They cost $50 per pound.”
Still there are plenty of options. Fisher presently prepares about 16 different bagel flavors including Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, Pizza and Jalapeno. A popular bagel flavor is Twisted Stinky, crafted from a combination of onion and garlic doughs.
Criminal Cake is a sweet bread treat named after one customer tasted it and exclaimed: “Oh ,my gosh, Shelly! This is so good, it ought to be criminal.”
Her new commercial bagel machine means Fisher will be able to increase her production from fewer than 225 bagels to as many as 960 at a time.
“Bagel-making is hard work,” Fisher said, noting that they take about 12 hours to make.
Fisher plans to initially employ three others at her new shop, and then grow to eight staffers to cover all of the shifts.
The store will operate from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and roughly from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It will be closed Tuesday and Thursday.
“It’s a specific science,” Fisher said of the schedule. “Monday people want Monday-morning blues bagels. Wednesday they want Hump Day bagels. Friday they want ‘It’s Friday!’ bagels. Saturday, customers want to get a bagel before they go shopping, or lunch after shopping. Sunday I’ll have bagels for the people who just got out of church, or for the pagans who slept in,” she said. We’ll see how it goes.”
How it all started
Fisher began baking and selling bagels around Pahrump in March 2021 under a cottage industry license.
She quickly became known as The Bagel Lady from her weekend farmers market booth in Pahrump and appearances at other community events and her door-to-door bagel sales.
When she began, she’d travel to local businesses wearing her signature navy-blue full apron, emblazoned at G.I. USA with her trademark title: Bagel Lady
“I’d show up at an establishment, and I’d hear a shout: ‘Bagel Lady is here!’” Fisher said, noting how the apron initially lent her legitimacy.
She recalled that she first wore her Bagel Lady apron on a sales visit to Super Cuts in Pahrump.
“‘Hi! Anybody want bagels today?’” she asked the employees and people waiting to get their hair cut.
Of course, they did.
”So afterward I asked Super Cuts management: ‘Is it OK if I stop in every once in a while?’” Fisher recalled.
Of course they said, “yes.”
And that’s sort of how the bagel business launched.
Fisher said she repeated this approach at dozens of local businesses, including the Nye County courthouse and the Pahrump Detention Center and the local, hungry workforce overwhelmingly supported her.
At first, Fisher says she used to “walk and walk, and drive and drive” until she sold every single bagel.
“Now, I know almost every business in town,” she says.
It takes a community
On Saturday when her new shop opens to the public, Fisher will officially go from Pahrump’s Bagel Lady to Pahrump’s Bagel Queen. It’s a testament to a lot of local people, she says.
“Saitta Trudeau has been wonderful to me… and Reva Braun invited me up to the high school. Now whenever the school district has anything going on, they call and order bagels,” Fisher said. “I don’t just give them a bag of bagels; I make it nice for them, in a basket and everything.”
Fisher said she’s relied heavily on social media to grow the sales for her business. She credits the Facebook group, “I Need Help in Pahrump” for promoting her fledgling operation. If it wasn’t for the group, Fisher says she likely would have no customers.
“Everybody’s been so helpful and generous,” she said.
Joelle Barton provided the 3-compartment sink required by code which accommodates her pot sizes.
Sue Huff with the State of Nevada Health Department worked with Fisher every step of the way, the entrepreneur said, answering endless questions and addressing concerns.
Lakeview Executive Golf Course donated 10 chairs. Peg Greenwade had more tables and chairs to add.
David Hiles reupholstered some of the chairs to fit her color theme.
Fisher’s friend Rodney gave her a circa 1947 Hobart slicer from his grandfather, to slice cold cuts for sandwiches and Jim Merson is a “genius friend” who has “repaired and installed things multiple times” so the business could open.
“It’s not just my bagel shop. So many people here have helped me: businesses, friends, and Facebook,” she said.
“This town loves small business. I want everyone to come in. I want everyone to feel comfortable. This is yours. I couldn’t have done this in Vegas. This is Pahrump. I think everybody needs a little Mayberry in their lives, and I want this to be Pahrump’s Mayberry.”
Contact writer Faye Burdzinski at email@example.com
This story has been updated .