Star Bagel - FAQ
from the owner
Star Bagel started as a small bakery in west nashville in 1995. We are the Oldest and only Locally owned and operated Bagel Cafe in Nashville. We have won several awards for our bagels. My focus was to make the best bagels and cream cheese spreads using the finest ingredients. Since those beginning days our store has developed into more of what people call a "bakery cafe" offering many creative salads, soups, and sandwiches on our own Bakery Breads.
Have you won any awards for your bagels? Yes,
We won a bagel TASTE test competition held by the JCC Jewish Community Center in 1995,The Tennessee Bagel Testers voted us best in 1996, in 2007,09,11 & 2013 we were listed as winners of Best Bagel in Nashville by The Best Restaurants in Nashville , and 2008-12 Best Bagel in Nashville Scene Readers Poll.
What Makes Star Bagel Cafe Better than everybody else? This question as several layers of answers, a) quality b) convenience c) employees
a) All of our products are made with only the finest ingredients I can find and prepared properly. Anybody can buy expensive ingredients but if you treat them poorly the results will show in the final product. From the Flour we use to Honey, Vegetables, Meats, Eggs, and Cheeses. This is how we make really great tasting and good for you food. One think I try to stress is prepare the food in a loving manner.
...update 3/2013. During the last year I have been especially more conscious about our ingredients. Our Chicken and Turkey are from thoes with not added hormones. And almost all of our dairy is bRST free. This is a hormone that is given to dairy cows to increase their production of milk. Currently our shredded cheddar is the only dairy Item that is not bRST free. and I am working on that... We use Local and Organic when possible. One thing I am particularly invested in is freeing our establishment of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Currently it is in a couple of our salad dressings, Coke products, and Chocolate Sauce that we make. My goal is to be completely free except Coke by May 2013. And of course our Breads and Bagels have NO preservatives.
I was speaking with a customer one day and she told me that since she switched to our bread she felt better. I hope each of you feel great after you eat our food. I truly believe that what we are doing at Star Bagel is not just trying to be a business that makes a profit. I want to serve nutritious and delicious food at a price people can afford.
What we are doing is important. And I do not take that lightly. So if you see someone running around the store with a tense look on his face even though things seem to be slow. That is probably either myself or Peter Burns the manager. We are very serious about making your visit the best it can be and that can be quite stressful.
Thanks for reading this. If you have any questions that need answering please don't hesitate to email me.
b) one of my goals is to provide a great tasting product efficiently, usually even with a long line it only takes a few minutes to get your food. Our goal is for you to have your food in 2 -3 minutes for small items and 5-6 minutes for Deli Sandwiches. This is great for people in a hurry.
c) When I hire staff - there are several obvious things I look for but one of the most important is Sweetness. The person must have a sweet heart. Of course I look for experience and if I think they can do the job and will fit in with everyone else but being sweet is a big deal to me. It does not matter to me whether they are a male of female, either can have a sweet heart. I believe that sweet people make better food. In other words "THEY CARE"
A lot of people ask me why open a bagel shop? When I was in college, I was an avid runner, swimmer, & cyclist even competing and finishing an 1/2 ironman triathalon. While running I noticed a bagel shop on West End and stumbled on in. I used these bagels as fuel and have been addicted ever since.
All throughout my early childhood I had some type of business. My first was collecting aluminum cans for 25 cents a pound. With the money I save I started a Sports Cards Business. And about the time I graduated I was thinking what about opening a business instead of "getting a job". Although the earlier businesses were helpful in starting Star Bagel, nothing really can compare to opening a business with a storefront. Well, anyway after about 18 months of temp jobs, research, and saving money, Star Bagel Company was born.
How did you come up with the name Star Bagel? There were a lot of potential names that we could use. Some of the more obvious would be to use regional names like New York or Brooklyn. One goal for a name was to come up with something that could be used (potentially nationwide) in a variety of locations and not get too caught up with a particular region of the country. Another criteria was to come up with a name that was recognizable and implied quality and could be used playfully in marketing. I feel that Star hit all of these goals plus it had not been trademarked.
We added the term Cafe and introduced our new Cafe Logo in 1997. This change was to show our customers and Nashville that we had revised our concept form a strict bagel shop to a more relaxed Cafe setting. This change has since morphed into our Bakery Cafe concept menu (2005) that has been widely praised by our customers.
How did you learn to make Bagels? Well, I did a lot of research calling as many people as i could. Included in my research was what I call the "bagel trip" - a trip starting in Nashville to Chicago then to New Jersey and New York. It was fun an I learned a lot. On the way I met a self professed New York Bagel King, who at one time was product development president of a large national bagel company. He showed me a lot. His way to make the best bagels and cream cheese spreads. Although most of the basics I was taught have not change, I have made a few of modifications to the recipe to make the bagels Better. Don't ask me what I did, you will just get a smile.
Do you plan on opening more stores? Yes, but they man be licensed or franchised and not necessarily company owned. I am however always looking for a great Star Bagel Cafe - Bakery Cafe location.