“The only thing I missed about the United States was bagels,” says J. Kent Pepper, the founder of Brooklyn Bagel Co. Mr. Pepper moved to Croatia five years ago and decided to bring a little bit of his hometown with him. He opened Brooklyn Bagel Co. in Split—the only bakery in Croatia that makes authentic New York-style bagels. “I tried every ‘bagel’ I’ve seen in Croatia,” explains Mr. Pepper, using air quotes when he says the word bagel, “and every one of them has just been bread with a hole in the middle. A real bagel is boiled in water before it’s baked. It should be dense and chewy.”

Mr. Pepper opened his first Brooklyn Bagel Co. sandwich shop in Split three years ago and has since opened two more. Now he is looking for franchisees to open Brooklyn Bagel Co. shops across Croatia. “We spent a lot of time in our bakery perfecting a method for half-baking bagels, so the baking process can be finished at the store,” Mr. Pepper says. “That way every customer, no matter where they live, can enjoy a fresh, warm bagel.”

To meet that anticipated demand, Brooklyn Bagel Co. is investing in expanding their production capabilities. A larger space and new equipment will allow them to increase hourly production by roughly 500%. “It’s taken a little education to teach Croatians what a bagel is—one of the first Croatian phrases I learned was, ‘Nije krafna.’—but once they try it, we’ve got a repeat customer,” he says. Mr. Pepper says the secret to a successful sandwich is to add an ingredient that makes each kind a little bit special. The ham and cheese sandwich has a pickle on it. The Italian uses olive tapenade, and the turkey sandwich has roasted red peppers. “I think that’s what really differentiates us from the build-your-own-sandwich shops. Given the choice, people will choose to make the same, boring sandwich they always have,” Mr. Pepper explains. The best seller, however, is the Brooklyn Bagel Co. bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. “It might be my favorite food in the world,” says Mr. Pepper. “It’s the perfect grab-and-go meal for someone in a hurry who wants a tasty, filling breakfast.”

Brooklyn Bagel Co. has created two model store layouts, one with seating for customers and one with only a takeout counter, which allows for a shop to operate in a space as small as 30 square meters. The investment to open a franchise is estimated to be as low as €64.000, and a shop can be operated by as few as three full-time employees. “What makes it especially easy,” Mr. Pepper explains, “is that the staff doesn’t require any special training. You don’t need someone in the back with extensive culinary experience.” The small staffing requirements and use of commonly available equipment means startup costs can be up to 20% than competing fast food franchises. “From day one, I was conscious of making sure everything Brooklyn Bagel Co. did was easy to replicate,” says Mr. Pepper. “I’m looking forward to people being able to enjoy New York’s favorite breakfast in Zagreb, Rijeka, Zadar, Dubrovnik and everywhere else in Croatia.”