Cornering the Market

Fifty years and six generations


Bagel Boss of Hewlett
1352 Peninsula Blvd, Hewlett

While Bagel Boss of Hewlett is far from a typical mom and pop shop, its process of preparing bagels and bialys is old school and old world. The history behind it spans 50 years and six generations. Founder of Bagel Boss, the late Mel Rosner, who was born in Brooklyn and had family roots in Bialystok, Poland, started out as a bialy baker.

 In 1976, Mel, together with his sons, Adam, Randy and Jerry, launched the first Bagel Boss store in Hicksville. In 1989, Adam opened the Merrick store, then 10 more, and eventually started a franchise company. Most of the current owners had originally worked for, and were trained at Bagel Boss. There are now 13 active stores: two in Manhattan and the rest on Long Island. Jerry owns the Hicksville store, and Randy, the one in Murray Hill, Manhattan.

 Nine years ago Adam Rosner took over two storefronts that had housed a bagel shop and the Buttermill Bakery, and built Bagel Boss of Hewlett. He purchased a century-old brick oven and reconditioned it. Hence, the wonderful outside crunch and inner softness of his bagels. There are more than 30 employees at his store. “It’s a great, talented team,” he said.

 Browsing through the daily offerings can be overwhelming. If you grew up with it, they probably have it or make it … from scratch. Homemade pierogies and blintzes join an endless variety of salads. They bake huge challah, make paninis, soups, wraps, pasta dishes, breakfasts, and baked goods. Smoked fish comes from the finest smoke houses in Brooklyn. You can even grab a take-out dinner from their hot food favorites, such as grilled salmon, prepared numerous ways. They serve exceptional coffee; Adam travels to Columbia once a year to negotiate his contract.

The “Flagel” is a registered trademark of Bagel Boss. “It’s like a pre-scooped out bagel,” says Adam. “Flattened, thinned, crunchy. We call it the brother of the bagel, the cousin of the bialy. A bialy is made from a dough similar to pizza dough, and the bagel, more of a bread dough. Our bagels are water bagels, processed from an old world recipe.”

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