Barrier Island Bagels, a small bagel shop with a big following, is tucked next to Food Lion in The Marketplace Shopping Center at milepost 1 in Southern Shores.

The shop is owned and operated by husband-wife duo Allison (Allie) and Josh Legg, who met in Corolla — long before their foray into entrepreneurship in 2016.

Josh heads into the shop at 3 a.m. to get started making New York-style boiled bagels, homemade breads and pastries, and soups, and preps for the sandwiches and fresh juices and smoothies they also serve on their menu.

The busy couple, who earned their (figurative) PhD in bagels while teens at Lighthouse Bagels in Corolla, are parents to 4-year-old Noah and Josslyn, who is 13 months old. It’s not unusual to see the tots hanging out in the shop, charming customers and sampling the fare.

The secret to the shop’s success is the commitment to fresh ingredients: The dough is never more than two days old, proofed, boiled and baked in an authentic (and massive) New York-style bagel oven at 550 degree Fahrenheit.

The rest of the crew arrives at 6 a.m. to prep the front of the house, and doors open at 7 a.m.

In addition to their retail business, Barrier Island Bagels has a wholesale component that stretches as far south as Hatteras Island. The company also offers rental home owners the chance to purchase bagels for their clients.

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