A bagel (Yiddish: בײגל beygl; Polish: bajgiel), also historically spelled beigel, is a bread product likely originating in the Jewish communities of Poland. Popular legend has it that it was created in 1683 as a “stirrup shaped” tribute to the Polish King Jan Sobieski, for saving Austria from a Turkish invasion. It’s a fun story, but bagels are mentioned in written records from Kraków as early as 1610, and round-with-a-hole shaped Polish bread was documented in 1394. Germans migrated East to Poland and brought pretzels - not the hard snacks we buy in bags today, but their thicker cousins with a soft, chewy inside and lovely crust. These evolved into the shape and texture of the bread we know as a bagel today.
Bagels were brought to the United States in the late 19th century by immigrant Polish Jews, with a thriving business developing in New York City. The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century, surpassing the doughnut in breakfast bread popularity in the 1990’s.
Bagelover’s, inc was formed in 1982 with a “do it yourself” concept. The consumer purchased a six-pack of frozen, raw bagels ready to boil, then bake at home. Included were three choices of toppings – poppy, sesame and onion flakes. It was a great idea, but people weren’t interested in putting that much work into their bagels.
In 1988, Bagelover's started a wholesale business, partnering with Great American Food Stores. By 1997 we had outgrown our facility in Lansing, NY so we purchased a large warehouse in Dryden, NY, and refitted it as a commercial bakery and distribution center. We are still making many flavors and sizes of all natural, preservative-free, Kosher bagels there today.
Bagelover's sells cases of frozen, toaster-ready bagels to many distributors in New York and Pennsylvania, who take them to colleges, K-12 schools, stores and bagel shops throughout their regions. Bagels Etc. in Washington, DC has been getting their bagels from us for over 30 years!