When Jeremy Fox was in college, he recalled coming home on school breaks and hanging out with his friends at Block’s Bagels.
Today, Fox is the owner of Fox’s Food LLC, a restaurant group that owns four businesses: the Short North Bagel Deli food cart, food truck and locations within Ohio Stadium and the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University; Block’s Bagels Bexley; the Heirloom Cafe in OSU’s Wexner Center for the Arts; and Block’s Bagels North Market, which is expected to open this spring in the location of former tenant Taste of Belgium.
Fox said fresh, hot bagels will be delivered several times a day to North Market from the Block’s location in Bexley, and shoppers will be able to purchase “the best of the best” food items from Block’s Jewish deli-style menu.
“I’ve been trying to get in the North Market for years,” Fox said. “Even before I started Short North Bagel Deli, my old business partner and I tried to open up a Cuban restaurant there.”
Several years ago, Fox said he proposed a Short North Bagel Deli business plan to the North Market’s owners. At the same time, they also received a proposal from Columbus classic Katzinger’s Delicatessen and chose that deli over Fox’s business.
Once Fox received a licensing agreement from Steve Block, owner of Block’s Bagels and son of the founder, to open a location in Bexley, he said he was asked to submit a proposal to North Market. Block still owns and operates the Block’s Bagels location at Interstate 270 and East Main Street.
“I’ve always felt North Market was a good opportunity. I personally love the market. It’s been around for over 100 years. It has local vendors, small businesses and entrepreneurs, and that’s pretty much everything that I stand for,” Fox said. “From a business standpoint, with the Greater Columbus Convention Center (nearby), being in the Short North and the new plans they have for the (redevelopment of the) North Market Tower, it’s financially a good business opportunity for Block’s.”
Fox said his goal has always been to reestablish Block's as “the premiere bagel and deli in Columbus and beyond,” adding that Steve Block was excited at the prospect of having a North Market location of his brand.
“We did an extension of our original licensing agreement for the use of the name,” Fox said. “Block’s (is) the exclusive vendor for bagels and deli salads. It’s more business for (Steve). We are separately owned and operated. Anything good for one is good for the other.”
Recalling his visits to Block’s as a younger man, Fox said it was always a special tradition.
“I see that firsthand now,” he said. “When there are holidays and we’re busy, we see multiple generations of Block’s customers. It did so well for 50 years, my goal is to make it for another 50 years.”
Calling Block’s Bagels “an icon and an institution of Columbus,” Fox said he feels “happy and proud and honored” that the Block family allowed him to come into the family business and help grow it.
Fox, who grew up and celebrated his bar mitzvah at Congregation Agudas Achim in Columbus, lives in Bexley with his wife, Victoria, and their 18-month-old son.
“Ironically enough, we live three doors down from Steve Block, so there’s a lot of bagel power on that street,” he added.