When it comes to the Hudson Valley's preferences for local spots to get their favorite foods, there are a few places that always come out on top.

For the past 35 years, a bagel store on Rt. 82 in Hopewell Junction has been the go-to, a landmark if you will.  It is a place for people around the area (and plenty of out-of-towners too) to pick up a dozen to go, meet friends for coffee and a bagel, treat their kids to a homemade donut, and for many locals, myself included, spend their teen years behind the counter serving customers.

Hopewell Hot Bagels owner John Didio, on Thursday November 11th, announced his upcoming retirement from the bagel business, letting customers around the Hudson Valley know that the business was going to be turned over to new ownership.

The time has come to turn the business over to new owners and happy to say they are Hopewell Junction residents.. Please stop in and meet Scott and Marie and wish them luck for another 35 years.

I speak from personal experience when I tell you that Hopewell Hot Bagels was a family.  I began working there at age 16, alongside people that became some of my best friends and who I still hang out with regularly, more than 20 years later.

Weekly, and sometimes even daily customers weren't just people that came through the doors to grab breakfast, they became part of the lives of the staff who worked there, because of the environment that John and the rest of the staff created over the years.

It sounds crazy, but working there for all those years put me through college, and I'm so thankful for that.

Hopewell Hot Bagels has always been active within the community, donating and contributing to various community organizations and local causes.  They've also been a part of so many milestone celebrations for Hudson Valley families.  I remember John making giant letter bagels for my high school graduation party, because what 'bagel girl' didn't want her name spelled out in bagels and filled with cold cuts.  Fast forward a bunch of years I called to have those bagel letters made for my daughter's first birthday party, and John came through as always.

In speaking with John about what's next, he informed us that he'll be around the store for another month helping out, then figuring out what he's doing next.  It'll be weird to think about walking through the doors of Hopewell Bagels and not seeing John's face in the store, but we look forward to seeing what the new owners have planned for this iconic Hudson Valley staple.

Congratulations, John, on an incredible 35 years of business in the Hudson Valley and for making the iconic Hopewell Hot Bagels what it is today.

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