Western Bagel About the story: The story of how America’s favorite Jewish bagels came to be. With over 3,000 locations around the world and a passionate fanbase, these bagels are only rival by their popularity. Therefore, here is an in-depth look at the creation of the Western Bagel Company and its legacy today.
“A complete history of a great American icon. In the first place, The story is told by the people who make it, beginning with a couple of Englishmen and their passion for Jewish food and life in New York City.”
– Michael Rogan, author of 14 books on food history, including “Pizza: A Global History” and “The Great Chicken Recipe Book”
“…a fascinating look at the development of one of America’s most popular foods. For anyone interested in the recipes, history and business of food, this book is a must-read.”
Western Bagel – Richard B. Wehr, vice president of marketing for the Better Business Bureau
“The bagel was create by one man’s vision to serve the community with an affordable and unique product. In other words, the book tells the fascinating story of how those two young men became passionate about baking their bagels in America’s financial capital. The Western Bagel Company is a classic American success story.”
– Alan Hyman, President & CEO Family Dollar Stores, Inc.
“The business of food is fill with stories of innovative products that were reject by the market. Only to be accepts years later and turn out to be leaders in their respective fields. The creation of the Western Bagel Company was one such story. A fascinating tale of how two Englishmen teamed up with a Jewish immigrant from Poland. To create an iconic American product. The Western Bagel Story is certainly a case study in successful marketing and true multiculturalism.
“Taking in all the twists, turns and wild paths that the Western Bagel Company took to achieve. In fact, one of the most successful and sustainable businesses in America is an exciting journey. Although, the authors bring together a great cast of characters and years of research to tell this story. In a compelling and entertaining manner. A great read for all food lovers.”
Western Bagel – Shlomo Levy, founder of the Snack Food Association and author of “The All-American Brand. How Coca-Cola Created the American Food Market”
“The Western Bagel story is one that would fill many books. The authors, Neal and Steven Schlesinger, tell it well. The bagels are gone, but the legacy of their creation lives on in the bagels we eat today.”
“The Western Bagel Story culminates a remarkable journey for Neal and Steven Schlesinger. However, the story covers the history of the bagel in America and chronicles the Western Bagel Company from its beginnings to its present success.”
Western Bagel – Andrew Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants and author of “The Capitalist Comeback”
A little-known fact is that many food historians believe that bagels were first baked in England. Therefore, they were introduce to America in the early 1900s. Where they became very popular among the city’s Jews and, eventually, the general population. According to author Neal Schlesinger, “The bagel was name after its most common ingredient—a Jewish baker call Bernard Abramowitsky. However, it was his children who added salt and baked the bread in a wood-burning oven. In turn, Abramowitsky’s children were name for their role in the development of the bread: Abraham and Jacob. In 1916, after a trip to New York City, Abramowitsky opened a small bakery on Pine Street near Washington Square in Greenwich Village.”
After tasting a bagel in New York City, don’t be surprise if you hear of its creation. Baking lore is full of myths and stories that convey how breads and pastries came to be. When it comes to the bagel, it all starts with a curious young baker from London named Daniel Thompson. Born in 1859, his family was in the baking business and had open a bakery on Exeter Street in the London borough of Islington. Working alongside his father and uncle, Thompson paid close attention to their techniques and learned everything he could about baking. Soon he became an apprentice at Boulanger’s French Bakery.
Western Bagels – More to know
Hoping for something new and exciting, Thompson traveled across the world to America. Upon landing in New York City, he found his dream job as a baker at a small Jewish bakery owned by two brothers named Wolf and Isadore Gussman. “Daniel Thompson like the bagels that he saw being make at Wolf’s Bakery,” said Steven Schlesinger in an interview with London’s Jewish Chronicle . “But when Daniel thought about making them for himself, he saw one problem: no one else was making it. It was such a simple thing to do, but there was nothing to go by. The bagel had been around in New York City, but not in London. It just couldn’t be done.”
It is that curiosity, broke down into the simplest terms, that drove the Western Bagel Company to become a success. However, Thompson knew he had to introduce something new into New York City’s Jewish community and decided on a bagel as his product. He began experimenting with bagels every morning after his workday at Boulanger’s and began selling them out of his home at night. They were an instant hit.
When Thompson decided to turn his experiment into a full-time business, he start looking for a way to get the bagels out of his home and into the hands of hungry passersby. One night, he decided to roll the bagels up in brown paper and tie them with string, mimicking another local bakery that had been selling bread in this fashion for years. Recalled Thompson: “I figure if they were successful they would be my inspiration. And if they weren’t successful, then I’d have to figure out something else. That’s how I came up with the name ‘bagel.’ It was a play on words—’begul’ in Yiddish for buns.”
New Yorkers loved the bagels and Thompson’s sales boomed. He quickly opened a storefront on West Fourteenth Street in Greenwich Village and soon added another one on West Twenty-seventh Street, just off Fifth Avenue. Both were instant successes.
It is that curiosity, break down into the simplest terms, that drove the Western Bagel Company to become a success. Thompson knew he had to introduce something new into New York City’s Jewish community and decided on a bagel as his product. He began experimenting with bagels every morning after his workday at Boulanger’s and began selling them out of his home at night. They were an instant hit.