Chestnut Street Philly Bagels is owned and operated by Aaron Wagner and Jonathan Yamini. The best of friends since childhood, Jonathan was employed by Aaron's family business, the famous South Street Philly Bagels, much like nearly all of Aaron's friends at one time or another. Growing up an avid bagel lover, Jonathan took a particular shine to the business and made himself an indispensable employee at the store off South Street. When Michael Wagner, Aaron's father, took a step back from the business, Aaron put his dream of opening another shop in Center City on hold due to the added responsibilities. Seeing the untapped potential of a Center City location, Jonathan decided to make it his goal as well, and together, they fulfilled their mutual dream in Chestnut Street Philly Bagels.
South St Philly Bagels, Inc. opened its doors in the snow storm of 1996. Working in the bagel business since 1971, Michael Wagner decided to bring the family recipe to Philadelphia. Mike learned how to produce the dough, hand forming each bagel, and baking each bagel from his Brooklyn raised father-in-law, a member of the now dissolved Bagel Bakers Union. The tradition of bagel baking has been going strong for five generations now, continuing a time honored tradition.