To kick-start the yeast, Mike and Jeff Kofsky are plopping freshly-rolled dough into honeyed water, plopping and moaning about the Bad News Bagels their yet to-taste-victory softball team that’s giving them tsuris aggravation. The brothers are kings of the sheba, the long, wooden spatula-like utensil they use to flip a load of bagels (32 to the batch) onto the grate of the wood-burning stove that glows at the back of The Bagel Oven, their deli on Greenbank Road near Knoxdale Road.
“Losing 9-5 isn’t so bad,” says Mike, 31, looking on the bright side. “Hey, it’s better than 25-2,” adds Jeff, 24. Both brothers break up laughing. There’s a lot of laughter at the Bagel Oven, a lot of smiling and kidding around with the customers. , It’s the way the Kofskys do business ” be in the store at 6 a.m. every day and make sure customers enjoy coming in for, ( a still-warm poppy seed bagel with a , smear of cream cheese.
According to family legend, Mike was mesmerized by a bagel oven he encountered in a deli during a family trip to Montreal when he was a little boy. Little Mike said he would own an oven like that one day. Now he does. The boys opened the Bagel Oven two- and-a-half years ago, and have been steadily building the business on hard work and word of-mouth. “We try to do different things,” says Jeff.
“We greet everybody, and make sure the faces are familiar even if we can’t put a first name to everybody. And we don’t want to be just faces behind the counter. The boss one of us is always here.” “He likes the hard ones,” Jeff shrugs, so they hold back a few day-old bagels after clearing the bins for the first fresh batch of the day. The brothers have worked up a sort of tourist-guide spiel to explain how they make bagels from scratch daily everything from why the sesame seeds stick to the bagels to the source and burning temperature of the two cords of wood used every week in the oven. “Everybody comes through here,” says Jeff, “We’ve had kindergarten classes, Cubs and who are the ones even younger? Beavers? Anyway, the kids are great and we’re glad to show them around.” “The community is the key to their success, Mike says. “We try hard to be part of the neighborhood the ball team is part of it and I think customers respond to that.”
The Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, CanadaSun, Jul 05, 1992 · Page 2 Bruce Ward
So what is at at The Bagel Oven now?
Can’t seem to find it and wonder if it is now Frank’s Place? at 283 Greenbank Road
September 2, 2013 · Nate’s Delicatessen at 316 Rideau Street, circa 1979. Smoked Meat, Deli