Not Just Bagels

Staten Island, NY

For the last nine years, Diana Petrone and her husband have spent every day growing their business, Not Just Bagels, and the day after Sandy hit, they couldn't even get in.

Fundraising goal: $50,000


“Monday I had a business, and Tuesday I had nothing” said Diana Petrone as she began to grasp the extent of destruction and damage inflicted on her small business.

With over 9 feet of water inside the store, and nearly 12 feet of water outside, the store was ransacked down to the walls. The windows were blown out, the back door was obstructed, and nearly nothing was salvageable from inside the store.

After renovating just six months prior to Sandy, Diana Petrone and her husband had a real loss to recover from and are now tapping into the goodwill they have built over so many years in their community. “I’m very optimistic we’ll get back up and open. It’s my heart and soul and we’re a pillar of the community” she says. Not Just Bagels has cultivated that goodwill by being as helpful as they can in their community. They donate bagels to Project Hospitality, serve their bagels for free in hospitals and local school events, and make every effort they can to build relationships that go beyond the business.

After the storm, Diana reached out to all her friends, family, and community members for help, many of whom were dealing with their own personal tragedies. She got her fifteen employees to come in every day after Sandy and volunteer their time to help pick up from the wreckage. One of Diana’s main goals is to get her fifteen employees back to work as soon as possible, so they have an income once again. “They are my family” she says when speaking about her employees.

The day after Sandy hit, Diana saw a car float by the roof of her store. Since then, she, her husband, and her employees have been working tirelessly to get back to square one, so that she can, as Diana can only say, “open our doors again, get the dough in the oven, and start spreading the love again.”

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