My passion for East Coast Kosher Water Bagels began in Bayside, Queens.
That’s where I grew up.
When you are raised in a Jewish household in New York City, bagels are served for breakfast several times a week!
In our home, we had a ritual that went like this:
My dad would go play tennis from 6am – 8am every Sunday. He would then stop at Slim’s Bagels (Bayside, Queens) and pick up a dozen fresh-from-the-oven bagels and lots of cream cheese – a lot of cream cheese!
I can still remember hearing the rustling of the paper bag in my dad’s hands and I can still smell the fresh-baked bagels wafting through the house as my dad yelled “BAAAGELS.” We would all run downstairs and I’d consume 2 – 3 bagels with cream cheese with as much gusto as humanly possible!
As I became a teenager, I wanted to learn how to make the perfect bagel. My first job was as a bagel baker at Slim’s Bagels. Working alongside the true artisans at Slims taught me the value of hard work and attention to detail. I moved away from New York in 1983, and have been searching for a true New York bagel ever since but never finding a bagel that even comes close to having that authentic New York flavor.
So what’s a bagel-loving, Jewish, New Yorker going to do? Well, like any New Yorker, I passionately complained regularly about this nearly 40 year problem to my good friend Mike. After listening to me complain for the hundredth time, Mike turned to me and said “Why don’t you stop complaining and just start your own bagel shop.”.
I couldn’t get Mike’s suggestion out of my head. I went to New York City and visited several bagel shops. I soon realized that it was indeed possible to bring NYC Kosher Water Bagels to Bloomington! After months of research, and trial and error, Gables Bagels was launched inside of my existing restaurant: BuffaLouie’s. (Located inside Bloomington’s historic Gable’s Building.) We focused on what we wanted, which was to bring authentic, fresh baked, New York bagels to the community we love and keep it simple by focusing on what matters, the bagels and the spreads.
I’m happy that my 40 year search for a truly authentic New York bagel has finally come to an end. But I’m thrilled that although the search has ended, the Gables Bagels story is just beginning. I can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with our New York Taste – Bloomington Baked bagels.
Ed Schwartzman, founder of Gables Bagels, standing in front of the building where it all started.