New Jersey woman shares secret to the 'perfect bagel' worldwide
A New Jersey woman is taking her bagel-making skills worldwide teaching people how to make the "perfect bagel."
The bagel laboratory and classroom of Beth Georgein in Fair Lawn is where people can learn how to make that perfect marriage of crispy and chewy goodness that's hard to find outside of New Jersey and New York. Her classroom, which is known as BYOB, stands for Be Your Own Boss, Bake Your Own Bagels or Build Your Own Business. BYOB was dubbed by the New York Times as "the cradle of global bagel baking."
George teaches budding entrepreneurs who are planning to open their own bagel shop about everything from the boiling and baking to finances and business plans.
George's clients have opened bagel shops everywhere from India to Saudi Arabia, Africa and the Netherlands. One client even opened shop in Pittsburgh.
"It's amazing how many people want to go into the bagel business," says George.
There are some secrets only paying clients get to learn. George is a longtime attorney who dove into baking to find ways to feed her son, who was allergic to wheat.
BYOB is a partnership with Frank Mauro, who for decades has owned the New Jersey-based company Excaliber Bagel and Bakery Equipment. He approached George when he found himself selling ovens to budding bagel makers who - besides his ovens- were ill-equipped to succeed.
"What is a recipe? How does a recipe change? What's involved? Those are things a lot of people don't take into account," says Mauro. "They say I have a half-million to invest. Well, that's not enough unless you want to fail."
George is also helping intern Melanie Hidalgo and Tina Irodalis, the owner of Park Bagels in Weehwawken. They're experimenting with crispier and chewier varieties and rosemary and olive oil and the Lebanese spice blend known as zaatar.
BYOB Bagels has been up and running since 2013, but they have never been busier than right now.