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Popular North Stafford bagel shop has been sold, but only minor changes are expected
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By LEE WOOLF
MARLIESE AND NELSON Gomez sounded like they had just won the Super Bowl last week when I asked them what they planned to do now that they had sold Botta Bing Bagel & Deli, their popular North Stafford eatery with the catchy name.
"We're going to Disney World!" they responded.
And they weren't kidding.
Marliese explained that a trip to Florida during spring break with Gabriella, the couple's 9-year-old daughter, was indeed part of the plans for a two-month vacation.
"And I want to do some trout fishing with friends," Nelson added.
The couple's final day at the restaurant at 310 Garrisonville Road was last Friday.
For nine years, Marliese and Nelson have poured most of their energy--along with thousands of eggs and tons of flour--into the family business. The two native New Yorkers started with just bagels and coffee. And now the menu includes 18 different kinds of bagels and 10 different spreads, plus a variety of breakfast foods, bagelwiches, deli items, drinks and desserts.
"Along the way, I guess we've kind of become a Stafford icon," said Marliese.
Added Nelson: "When we started, some people said: 'Bagels in Stafford? That will never work.' But we thought it was good to bring something new into the area."
And how right they were. It seems that New York-style bagels go with North Stafford's fast-paced lifestyle like, wellcream cheese goes with pumpernickel rye.
Besides serving up made-from-scratch bagels on a daily basis and offering customers a quiet sanctuary along one of the busiest roads in the county, Botta Bing's owners have become widely appreciated for their charitable contributions.
"I've got a stack of letters thanking us for our donations of food to schools, churches and shelters," said Marliese, adding that the couple will continue to live in the Widewater area.
"We're definitely staying in Stafford," she said. "We love this area and we feel like we're part of the community.
For regular customers, the good news is that the Botta Bing tradition--and all of the recipes--will continue with new owners Charles and Sunny Chang.
They have 20 years' experience in the deli business, and plan to be owners and on-site managers at Botta Bing once they complete a move to Stafford from Springfield. They also own two deli operations near Tysons Corner Center that now will be operated by family members.