Harvest Moon Is Downtown Lancaster’s Hottest New Breakfast Spot
If you ask Chelsea Zawisa to describe her perfect bagel, her answer will be simple: a sourdough toasted with butter. There’s one caveat — it “has to have a lot of flavor going on,” she says.
As the co-owners of Harvest Moon Bagel Co., Chelsea and her husband Zach know the importance of perfect flavor. The pair opened their first brick-and-mortar shop in September after selling their hand rolled bagels from a stand at Lancaster East Side Market for several seasons.
With a storefront to call home, Harvest Moon is thriving. From the former location of Super Bread Colombian Bakery at 47 North Queen Street, Chelsea and her team make bagels from scratch starting at 4 a.m. Chelsea, whose education and career has evolved around the food industry, isn’t surprised to own and run her own shop. Her shop’s product does surprise her, however; she always imagined she would find herself in the cake business.
Zach can take credit for that. His Polish background and family’s tradition of eating bagels is what inspired Chelsea to try making them herself in her own kitchen. After Chelsea mastered the art of bagel-making and ventured into business through classes with ASSETS in Lancaster, she formed Harvest Moon Bagel Co. in 2016.
Chelsea says “an increase in unique eateries downtown” paired with a lack of other bagel vendors has created a thriving market for her business. She admits she has another advantage on her side: “There will always be a place for bagels. Bagels will always be timeless,” she says.
Part of Harvest Moon’s success is its mixing of the timeless with the new. While fans of classic bagels — plain, poppy, sesame, and everything — will be satisfied, Chelsea and Zach offer fresh takes and flavors. Pumpkin, chocolate chip, and cranberry orange bagels are on rotation, and cream cheese flavors like banana cream and Sriracha scallion switch things up. Customers can grab sandwiches, too, from breakfast sandwiches with eggs and cheese to lunch sandwiches with savory meats and vegetables.
A popular offering has been CBD cream cheese made in collaboration with Ellister's Elixirs, which Harvest Moon uses in honey to flavor cream cheeses. CBD in honey lavender, chai spice, and other cream cheese flavors has had people “coming in just for that,” Chelsea says.
Regardless of its flavors or offerings, Harvest Moon’s values start with its ingredients. The company uses organic ingredients and sources local flour from a mill in Halifax. The shop’s coffee comes from Elementary Coffee Company, a small roaster in Harrisburg. “We want to be in business but not do further damage to the environment,” Chelsea says.
Harvest Moon is open 6 days a week, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In the future the company hopes to sell wholesale in the city, expand to being open 7 days a week, and host more pop-ups featuring Polish food.
In the meantime, Chelsea is happy to have “finally found a right spot” for business.
By: Becca Kraybill