THOMASVILLE, GA. (WTXL) — It's hard to miss when you drive into downtown Thomasville. A green building, transporting customers to the concrete jungle with every bite.
Empire Bagels & Delicatessen is the only bagel store in downtown Thomasville, and as their owner John Gregory puts it they make "New York style bagels".
"They're kettle cooked and boiled in water before they're baked, and we hand roll them," Gregory said. "We make the dough all day long, and we make it fresh the day of."
The name Empire Bagel is a testament to his family because he's from New York and his wife Anna Carroll "AC" Sims Gregory grew up in South Georgia.
"In the old telephone books, Georgia was known as the empire state of the south, so we combined the empire state of the south with new York," Gregory said.
Moving to this community in 2016, they wanted to add something special to it, which is why they
established the first and only bagel shop in town.
"We take a lot of pride in it and our bakers work really hard," Gregory said. "It's interesting to see people say, well, I've never really had a bagel before or I've only had a store bought bagel, which is fine, but we don't consider those really bagels."
After the dough is rolled, Gregory said they letting it cool off in a fridge over night, giving it that authentic New York taste with every bite.
"I'm definitely a Thomasville resident," Gregory said. "I don't claim New York as much anymore, even though my family still lives there."