Surf Bagel was founded in 2004 by brothers and avid surfers Dave and Tom Vitella.
Surf Bagel specializes in New York-style bagels, flavored cream cheese, bagel sandwiches, and other breakfast and lunch items.
“We could not have dreamed of a better fit than with Scott Kammerer and SoDel Concepts,” said Dave Vitella. “The one constant in life is change, and I knew we wouldn’t be doing this forever. SoDel is the perfect solution; they are the very best at what they do, and they will continue to honor the loyalty and dedication of Surf Bagel’s employees and patrons.”
The Kammerer and Vitella families have known one another over the years. Scott and Dave coached with and against each other for many years, and their children have all grown up in the area.
“SoDel Concepts is a solid, well-run organization with the same dedication to quality and consistency. We trust them to carry the brand forward and keep the Surf Bagel tradition alive,” said Vitella.
The sale should be finalized on Dec. 1. The Surf Bagel shops will be the company’s 14th and 15th locations. (Matt’s Fish Camp recently opened in Fenwick, and Ocean View Brewing is under construction).
“Who doesn’t love Surf Bagel?” said Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts. “It is a staple along the Culinary Coast, and the owners have long been active in our community.”
Kammerer said Surf Bagel and SoDel Concepts share a mission to give guests delicious food and an exceptional experience. “SoDel Concepts has the highest respect for the successful concept and will continue offering the menu that has made it a fan favorite,” Kammerer said.
SoDel Concepts has 18 business operations: 14 coastal restaurants, three sports concessions, and a wedding-and-events venue.
SoDel Concepts’ divisions include Haley/Kammerer, a hospitality consulting firm, SoDel Concessions, a hospitality management company, and Matt’s Homemade Soda Co., a line of artisanal sodas.
Matt Haley, the recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Humanitarian of the Year Award, founded SoDel Concepts in 2004. After he died in 2014, Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts, started the SoDel Cares Foundation in his honor.
Haley kept restaurants open year-round as the Coastal Sussex area added more full-time residents and the tourist season became longer.
Under Kammerer, SoDel has added new restaurant locations and moved the company into brewpubs while acquiring existing businesses – Crust and Craft (pizza) and now Surf Bagel.
SoDel has remained in Coastal Sussex, while another large Sussex-based restaurant group, Big Fish, has expanded into the Wilmington-area market.