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Starbucks Is Now Selling Bagel Balls, The Doughnut Holes Of Bagels

They're on offer at about 500 Starbucks stores so far, mainly in New York.

Posted on December 2, 2015, at 1:32 p.m. ET

Bantam Bagels

After a few Starbucks outlets in New York City tested demand for tiny cream cheese–stuffed bagel balls this summer, the bite-size dough globes from Bantam Bagels have rolled into about 515 stores in the city, as well as a some locations in Philadelphia and Indianapolis.

To grow sales, the giant coffee chain's strategy includes increasing sales of foods like sandwiches, pastries, and meal boxes, which are now about 19% of sales. There are more than 12,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S. Bantam hopes to expand into more of them yet.


For a better sense of scale, this is how big a bagel ball is. Bantam Bagel co-founder Nick Oleksak has said the idea came to him in a dream.

Venessa Wong / BuzzFeed News

Bantam, a business started in 2013 with a small storefront in Manhattan's West Village, also sells its products online and has a catering business that delivers to offices and events like weddings.

The market for bagel balls is bigger than you might think. Bantam saw a bump in sales after being featured on Shark Tank in January. So far this year, it has sold more than 2 million bagel balls, with sales of over $2.1 million. As it develops corporate partnerships, Bantam also began offering its bagel balls on Delta flights out of LaGuardia Airport about a month ago.

At about 100 calories each, they're a snacker's delight, but they're not cheap. Each bagel ball costs $1.75 at Starbucks — nearly the cost of a normal-size bagel — or you can get two balls for $2.95. That's one way to control how many you eat.

Venessa Wong / BuzzFeed News

Starbucks offers three flavors of bagel balls: french toast, everything, and classic.

Venessa Wong / BuzzFeed News

Each are filled with different cream cheese flavors. French toast gets a buttery, maple cream cheese; everything has veggie cream cheese; and classic gets plain old cream cheese.

Venessa Wong / BuzzFeed News

They're like the doughnut holes of bagels, although some bagel purists may protest such bold deviations from the cherished norm.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.