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About Us

It all began with a bagel. Collegetown Bagels, to be exact. For over 30 years, stacks of excellent bagels have formed the foundation of the Brous & Mehaffey stores, now numbering five.

Collegetown Bagels began in 1976 on College Avenue started by three young entrepreneurs from Long Island. The business was sold one year later to a local businessman who also owned and operated Rulloff's next door. Gregar Brous started working for Collegetown Bagels in 1978 during his final two years of college while his parents, Anne and Ira Brous, were professors at Ithaca College. A second location was opened in downtown on Aurora Street in 1979. The stores became available for sale and were purchased by the Brous & Mehaffey family on January 1st, 1980. The five owners include Anne, Ira, Gregar and Ramsey Brous, and Mimi Mehaffey.Brous and Mehaffey

By 1983, CTB Appetizers (now Ithaca Bakery in the Triphammer Mall) was in place, as a gourmet deli and full-service catering center. Seven years later, the acquisition and renovation of the 80-year-old Ithaca Bakery added both a centrally situated, fully equipped bake shop capable of turning out traditional, restaurant-style Italian bread as well as dozens of delicious, creative new artisan breads and pastries. With the addition of the two commissaries Ithaca Bakery and Collegetown Bagels were able to become a full service business with retail, catering, and wholesale delivery of product throughout the area.

What began with a bagel and a dream, has grown into five bustling branches and a workforce of nearly 250 employees.  While business keeps growing, one thing remains the same:  All of the CTB and Ithaca Bakery locations are independently owned and operated by a family characterized by an unwavering commitment to the local and global community, practicing sustainability in all areas of operation.  Each year alone, the company donates to over xx charitable organizations and institutes of higher learning, ranging from the Trumansburg high school prom to the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes. 

*To request a donation, please visit any of our locations and pick up a charitable giving form.*

The business has also won numerous awards for its commitment to the environment. Some of the "green" features include the use of solar panels, organic flours in many artisan breads, local ingredients, 100% fair trade coffee, eco-mugs, and composting pre and post consumer to reduce waste.

Today, the stores serve daily waves of Ithacans and visitors from every walk of life. Customers find sustenance from a simple cup of good coffee to super sandwiches, exquisite entrées and the most ornate, customized cakes they can imagine. But more, they enjoy an exciting, ever-evolving environment built on good service, tantalizing taste temptations and an ongoing welcome with a local touch and a cosmopolitan vision.