Meet the Wheelers
Owners, Gary Wheeler and Eric Wheeler, are a native New York father-son duo that transplanted to Vero Beach, Florida and opened Tasty-O-Doughnuts in 1970. What began as a 480 square foot walk-in doughnut shop grew into three locations with a main store of 1,800 square feet and the first doughnut drive-thru window in the county. The family business was sold nine years ago.
Prior to coming to Tennessee, Gary Wheeler served 16 years for the county commission and 8 years as an elected sheriff of an over 400-person department for Indian River County in the state of Florida. Eric served in law enforcement for the city of Sebastian, Florida for 13 years.
“We absolutely fell in love with Tennessee,” Eric Wheeler (pictured above) said. “The mountains, the people, the community; we are starting our next adventure here.”
The Wheelers love to serve the families and students of the Johnson City area with good food and good coffee.
“One of our specialties we are excited about offering is authentic iced coffee by utilizing coffee ice cubes,” Eric said. “Instead of serving refrigerated coffee, which sours from its own acidity over the course of a day, we pour fresh hot coffee over coffee ice cubes so that we serve a fresh, undiluted cup of iced coffee.”
Another feature of Wheeler’s Bagels is a coffee bar, where customers can personalize their drinks with complimentary syrups including Godiva chocolate, caramel, and various lactose intolerance alternatives such as almond milk and rice milk. Wireless internet and refills on coffee and drinks are free.
The restaurant space has wooden flooring, window walls for a bright and airy ambience, and enough seating for 35 people. Breakfast and a full lunch deli is offered from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, seven days a week.
The Wheelers are storytellers and it is their dream to see storytelling fused into the atmosphere of the bagel shop.
“Our vision is to host open mic nights for local musicians, songwriters, and poets to share their stories,” said Eric. “We want to encourage a balanced environment – one where you can always meet new people but still feel comfortable to get work done.”