About Us

Our Bagels

GMO Free, Corn Free, Soy Free and Artisan, with REAL BARLEY MALT, Boiled.

Our Philosophy

We believe that in order for a community to be strong and healthy, all members must feel safe and useful. We believe that a strong local economy is based on small businesses providing jobs that feed the soul and allow for dignity in the workplace. We have combined these two beliefs to create a social enterprise, where the goal is to create social and community wealth rather than personal wealth.

Our History
The idea for Home Free Bagels was born on Asheville City Transit. Chris Sullivan gave away his car after losing his job and began riding the bus to get places in the city.  Frustrated by the class divide, illustrated by those with or without access to automobiles, he began talking to people about what they really need to get out of poverty. He was told over and over again that access to well paying and respectable jobs is what people long for.

One homeless gentleman told a story about how he got hired and fired from a job in a two-day period. At the job interview he left his pack and bedroll with a trusted friend. When he showed up for his first day of work he brought his pack with him and was immediately turned away. That day Chris and some friends began brainstorming ways to address this problem. It was decided that a new business model needed to be created. Several days later it came to their attention that Asheville lacked a good authentic NYC bagel. The two gaps came together and Home Free Bagels was born!

Compassionate Capitalism
Home Free Bagels does a lot more than provide dignified jobs and delicious bagels to the city of Asheville. We are also an experiment in compassionate capitalism.

In a time where greed has toppled the American economy and capitalism has been used to create massive fortunes for few while the majority struggles to get by, the private sector is coming forward to make real change happen.

Loosely defined, capitalism is an economic system where capital is invested with the expectation of monetary return. It has amazing power to generate wealth and is the driving force that made America a great and thriving country. However, when capitalism exploits the majority in favor of a minority, the consequences ripple through the social sector as well as the financial one.

In order for capitalism to be good, all components of the system must be healthy. Compassionate capitalism is an effort to harness the market-based economy while benefiting society as a whole. It keeps the wellbeing of all stakeholders—from the people to community to the environment—at the forefront, and remains aware of long-term consequences while making decisions.

Here is what compassionate capitalism is all about:

  1. It ensures all members of a community have access to dignified work.
  2. It means treating all employees, regardless of position, as valued members of a team.
  3. It means paying a living wage.
  4. It means using profits for ensuring community health before personal wealth.
  5. It means respecting the consumer by advertising in ways that are honest and unobtrusive.
  6. It means planning for growth with the wellbeing of the environment at the forefront.
  7. It means respecting the customer by providing fair prices.