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Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams Stops for Bagels in East Atlanta

Abrams speaks with owner Jackie Halcrow about the difficulties small businesses face in Georgia, then orders bagels for the road

Emerald City Bagels

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) dropped by Emerald City Bagels in East Atlanta Village (EAV) for a meet-and-greet (and breakfast) this morning. Abrams, who lives in Kirkwood, admits during the Facebook live stream she often drives past the bagel shop, owned by Deanna Halcrow and Jackie Halcrow, but hadn’t been in until today.

A few lucky bagel lovers, some who showed up in Halloween costumes, got an unexpected treat in meeting Abrams this morning — immortalizing their visit with a photo.

In July, Abrams rolled out her $10 million small business financing plan proposal meant to help entrepreneurs like the Halcrows access capital needed to open and grow their businesses in Georgia.

Jackie Halcrow shares the origin story behind Emerald City Bagels with Abrams, including how she and her mother sold bagels on the side of the road and at farmers markets before eventually beginning their wholesale business. The Halcrows, who are mostly self-funded, finally secured a small business loan (SBL) in 2016 and opened their permanent shop in January 2017.

Halcrow says they were lucky and only dealt with two banks when Abrams asks how difficult it was to secure an SBL for their business. Halcrow credits the loan officer for striking the deal, who she claims was fully committed to funding female-owned businesses. The Halcrows now employ nearly 30 people at Emerald City Bagels.

“Think about this, a small business that got a little bit of support was able to create 30 new jobs, especially in a community like East Atlanta Village,” Abrams explains to the crowd. “That’s the kind of success we want to replicate around the state of Georgia.”

Following her chat with Halcrow, Abrams continues answering questions from a slew of reporters on hand at the campaign stop. Questions ranged from allegations of voter suppression in Georgia to how she’s feeling about Oprah joining her on the trail tomorrow.

“It was really cool having Ms. Abrams in the shop this morning! Talking to a public figure with 20 cameras and mics pointed at you is totally nerve-wracking, but still a wonderful experience and great exposure for us.” Halcrow tells Eater Atlanta. “It’s super impressive when a political candidate reaches out to small businesses and other members of the community. Makes you feel like you may actually have a voice in the political process.”

And, yes, Abrams did grab a bagel for the road. Stephen Fowler, a political reporter for Georgia Public Broadcasting, tweeted the candidate ordered a rosemary sea salt bagel with garlic herb spread.

Watch the full video of Abrams’ visit to Emerald City Bagels.

We’re live at Emerald City Bagels in Atlanta!

Posted by Stacey Abrams on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Emerald City Bagels opened in the former Gravity Pub space on Glenwood Avenue next door to the Graveyard Tavern. The Halcrows bake a variety of bagel flavors from-scratch daily. The shop often sells out before closing at 3 p.m. each day.

1257A Glenwood Ave SE, Atlanta. emeraldcitybagels.com.

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