PASSOVER EDITION 5778 SECTION A PAGE 14
At the end of business today, March 30, the Bagel Store, a popular source of baked goods for the Denver Jewish community since 1976, will close for Passover — and begin a new era.
The southeast Denver bakery, purchased last year by Joshua Pollack, who merged the business with his Rosenberg’s Delicatessen, will be restructured, primarily as a kosher wholesale and catering business, and curtail its retail storefront hours to Fridays and holidays.
The changes will go into effect on Friday, April 13, Pollack told the Intermountain Jewish News in a statement this week.
Pollack, whose deli outlets in Five Points and Stanley Park in Stapleton do not have kosher certification, obtained a hechscher from Scroll K in 2017 for the baked goods made at the Bagel Store, produced at its South Monaco location.
The certification for the Bagel Store’s bagels, challah and other baked goods remains in place, Pollack indicated.
“We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from our customers and the Jewish community during this endeavor,” Pollack said this week, “and continue to be dedicated to our original goal of providing kosher food to the masses, which we feel confident will be more successfully accomplished by re-shifting our focus to kosher wholesale and catering operations.
“We understand that this will be a difficult transition for longtime customers, which is why we made it a priority to keep our storefront open for Shabbos [Fridays] and holidays. We will still offer kosher catering with two weeks’ notice and will do our absolute best to accommodate more sudden needs for britot [circumcisons] and shivas.”
Through his spokesperson, Rachel Feinberg, Pollack elaborated on his reasons for the Bagel Store changes, listing “staffing challenges” at the top of his list.
“It’s proven exceptionally difficult to adequately staff the location with employees who are both skilled and reliable,” he said, adding that many Denver restaurants are facing similar challenges.
However, it “is especially difficult when in need of a staff that is vested in kosher law and Jewish food,” Pollack said.
The Bagel Store has also been suffering from slumping retail sales, he indicated.
“Our main goal with the Bagel Store merger was to provide expertly crafted kosher food to the masses, which has proven most effective through our catering and wholesale operations.
“Retail sales were less consistent, and to be completely frank, the lack-of [business] was stifling on some days. This, coupled with the staffing challenges, took away from successfully executing our mission.”
Pollack acknowledged that his original concept for the Rosenberg’s-Bagel Store merger has not materialized.
“In practice, we found it hard to adapt the magic that was happening at Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen to a completely different business model, which left people wanting more from their experience,” he said.
“For example, not being able to serve sandwiches out of the kosher location proved to be a major disappointment to many customers, and that’s not who we are.”
In addition to the Rosenberg’s delis and at its own location on Fridays and holidays, the Bagel Store’s baked goods will continue to be available at a number of metro eateries.
Chris Leppek may be reached at IJNEWS@aol.com.
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