Former sheriff opens bagel shop in Johnson City

Nathan Baker • Apr 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

There’s a new sheriff in town among Johnson City’s bagel businesses.

Gary Wheeler, a Florida transplant and former sheriff and local politician, and his son Eric Wheeler, himself a law enforcement officer, plan to open Wheeler’s Bagels on May 14 in a strip behind Fuddruckers off Knob Creek Road.

The shop, at 230 Marketplace Boulevard, will serve scratch-made bagels and coffee, offering a coffee bar with customizable syrups and allergy-sensitive milk alternatives.

The father-son team, seemingly well-versed in the round breakfast arts, originally moved from New York to Vero Beach, Fla., and opened Tasty-O-Doughnuts in 1970.

The family-owned business, which grew from the lone walk-in shop to three locations and the first drive-through doughnut window in the county, sold nine years ago.

Eric Wheeler said they “fell in love with Tennessee,” and decided to move here with their families.

For iced coffees, instead of serving refrigerated coffee, Wheeler’s will used frozen coffee cubes with fresh hot coffee poured over them to avoid the usual souring as coffee sits.

The shop will offer breakfast and lunch daily from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mitch Cox Companies, the developer of the retail building that also houses Universal Wine & Spirits, announced the new business Wednesday.

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