Providence Road holds a New York-style gem on one of its busiest corners.
If you ask a native Northeasterner - especially New Yorkers - what they miss, surely none will say, "the weather"; but several will tell you good pizza and freshly baked bagels.
One relocated New York family that has lived in Huntersville for the past four years solved many bagel woes with the grand opening of Poppy's Bagels & More at the corner of Providence and Sharon Amity roads in mid-November 2010.
Like many others, Ron Rippner, 44, and his wife, Megan, and their children, Lily, 8, and Harley, 4, moved to the Charlotte area from Long Island, N.Y., for "the good stuff that comes along with Charlotte: lower taxes, warmer weather, a bigger house for your money," said Ron.
When Rippner first moved here four years ago, he got into the banking industry, but "I felt there was a need for bagels down here. I missed the New York bagels."
He continued his love of baking by getting into the bagel-making business. "This is a family business," said Rippner, who owns Poppy's Bagels & More. "My mother (Georgeana) works here and my father (Leslie) is 'Poppy' - that's what my children call him."
Several days a week, Rippner arrives at Poppy's at 4 a.m. to prepare handmade dishes and soups, hand-whipped cream cheeses and freshly baked bagels in preparation for opening at 6 a.m. on weekdays.
"We do all the baking here on the premises, making the dough from scratch," said Rippner. His mother, Georgeana, arrives to welcome customers, always asking if they are new to Poppy's, what brings them in and where they are from.
"I ask everyone where they are coming from; some come from as far as South Carolina," said Georgeana, who is gratified by the compliments Poppy's has received from customers in three months.
What's in store for Poppy's Bagels & More as 2011 continues?
"We're always trying to add new things," said Rippner. He hopes to add French toast, more dinner items and an expanded coffee section to the menu to go with the current potato pancakes, chocolate chip bagels and cream cheese, homemade muffins and specialty lunch items including Boar's Head deli meats, pasta salads and chicken cutlets.
Rippner sees his business expanding to other locations, but for now he says, "Every week gets busier and busier. I think for now the location is perfect. So far, so good."
Poppy's Bagels & More supports its neighboring community by donating to nearby churches for fundraisers and events. Leftover bagels are donated to Jewish Family Services of Charlotte.