More than ten years ago,
when he was putting in long hours as a vice president at Merrill Lynch, Adam Pomerantz had a dream. His dream was to someday run his own business - not a business on Wall Street, but something much closer to his heart, and his stomach.
As a child, every Thursday dinner was Adam's favorite meal. Adam's father, Murray, would bring home traditional NYC Jewish "appetizing": bagels, lox, sable, whitefish, cream cheese and other salads, from the Lower East Side, where he owned a women's clothing store on Rivington Street. At school other kids had turkey sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly for lunch, Adam had a bagel and lox with a schmear of cream cheese. This was Adam's soulfood.
Bagels and smoked fish, or "appetizing," was something he knew and loved, and Adam's dream was to make the best bagel in NYC - to create a shop that introduced his soulfood to a whole new generation of New Yorkers, while also catering to the old-timers who remembered the familiar crunch and aroma of a hot, freshly baked bagel.
Having resolved to quit the financial markets for the kitchen...
Adam's first step toward realizing his dream was to go to work for a traditional wholesale bagel baker in New Jersey. He worked as an apprentice from 2am to 11am, learning every step of the bagel making process. Adam knew that to create the best bagel he had to learn the traditional techniques, and use only the finest ingredients - there could be no cutting corners.
Next he searched for the best qualities of different bagels throughout New York. He ate bagels in Manhattan, in Brooklyn, downtown, uptown. Finally, Adam tried different recipes until he found the precise proportions and quantities of each ingredient.
He followed his heart and his stomach, and when it was right he just knew it. He found a small storefront in Greenwich Village, which he renovated on a shoestring budget, opening Murray's Bagels in November 1996. Adam named Murray's Bagels for his father, from whom he learned his love of bagels and appetizing. And Murray encouraged and advised Adam at each stage of the process. The store on 6th Avenue near 13th Street soon became an integral part of the community, and its reputation for delicious, fresh, traditional NYC bagels began to spread. Regulars come everyday for a quick nosh and sometimes, a not so quick chat with Adam. The original shop has expanded to accommodate its growth in popularity, but it still retains the same attention to detail, to quality and freshness, and to producing the best, most mouthwatering Murray's bagels!