There’s nothing better than a piping hot BEC in the morning. Except, what if our favorite morning bread was stuffed instead? That’s exactly what Ali Chetkof and Jeremy Rhodes thought when they opened Moonrise Bagels in Woodstock. “We’re here to change the way you eat bagels,” they say.
The two—who got engaged in October—were both born and bred in New York. Chetkof, a lifelong Woodstocker, serves as the senior director of fashion at Jennifer Bett Communications, a Manhattan-based PR firm. Rhodes, a Long Island native, knows the ins and outs of restaurant revenue, with a seven-year tenure as director of accounting at Union Square Hospitality Group (owned by premier restaurateur Danny Meyer). A little over a year ago, Rhodes had just finished making pizza for dinner and began to create bagels for the next morning. And then he had a lightbulb moment: what if we could put pizza inside a bagel? There’s nothing more New York than that.
While working remotely, Chetkof and Rhodes began experimenting with bagels and pizza filling in Woodstock, where they moved at the start of the pandemic. After months of trial and error (and plying friends and family with prototypes to try), they finally cracked the Stuffed Pizza Bagel code in mid-2021. It was especially promising when the owner of a Woodstock bakery bought some for her family. By the summer, this bagel biz was given the name “Moonrise Bagels” (to remind patrons that stuffed bagels can be an all-day affair) and made appearances at local mainstays like Overlook Bakery, Tinker Street Tavern, and Woodstock Way Hotel—all while they sold wholesale to Instagram followers from their apartment. Then finally, in December 2021, Moonrise Bagels opened a shop in the heart of town.
The instantly popular eatery has gone way beyond pizza bagels. Thursday through Sunday, bagel lovers can enjoy fillings like buffalo chicken, BBQ chicken, hot honey soppressata, eggplant parm, pastrami Reuben, and Philly cheesesteak. But if you’re not interested in straying from the classics, don’t worry—BEC- and pizza-stuffed bagels will always be on the menu.
68 Tinker Street, Woodstock