LIVINGSTON, NJ - This week, The Alternative Press (TAP) of Livingston visited with Daniel and Brooke Blue of Livingston Bagels, located at 37 E. Northfield Rd in Livingston, to learn about their family business as part of a new member benefit being provided by The Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with TAP of Livingston.
Livingston Bagels was established by Rita and Sol Snyder in 1969 and is currently being operated by their granddaughter, Livingston born and raised, Brooke Blue along with her husband, Daniel Blue.
Q: What services does Livingston Bagels offer?
A: Daniel: Livingston Bagels is a deli, restaurant, market place, on premise bakery and a full service social and corporate catering establishment. Our catering arm alone offers hot/cold food, servers, rentals, flowers, table settings and more. We do much more than deliver platters.
Q: What Makes Your Business Special?
A: Daniel: It’s a landmark in town which has consistently offered a great product and family friendly service to the Livingston community for over 45 years. We offer so much, there really is something for everybody; now a days, so many people have various dietary restrictions, and are a lot more health conscious than when Rita and Sol were running the Bagel. In addition to our famous bagels, spreads, and Deli sandwiches, we also offer chopped salads, mayo free tuna salad, and healthier options at our prepared food case such as fish and multiple veggie options. At this point, we’re so much more than just a bagel shop.
Q: What made you go into this profession?
A: Brooke: Daniel and I wanted to carry on my grandparent’s (Livingston Bagels founders Rita and Sol Snyder) legacy. I grew up at the store, I have so many fond memories of watching my grandfather making dough and baking bagels. He was behind the scenes while my grandmother was up front at the counter serving customers and schmoozing with everybody.
Daniel and I met when I was living in Maryland going to college. We began our life together down there eight years ago, but when my grandmother gave us the opportunity to run the family business it was an easy decision. I was so excited to move back to my old community.
Q: Does your business have a symbol or logo? What does it stand for?
A: Brooke: Yes it’s a bagel man. Our slogan is “Better on a Bagel”
Q: What is the most frequently asked question by patrons?
A: Daniel: “Do you have other locations?” I can’t tell you how many times people from outside counties in New Jersey who drive 30-60 plus minutes to come to the Bagel ask me, “when are you going to open in such and such town?”
I’ve also been amazed by the amount of people that moved out of state and at any opportunity, stop at the Bagel to bring home Bagels and other goodies back to places like Philadelphia, Boston, and in some cases we have some clients who retired to Florida that call us to ship them bagels and even dinners for the high holidays (with dry ice of course).
Q: What is your favorite part of the work day or week and why?
A: Daniel: I Love the mornings! Bagels and other baked goods are being baked fresh, the coffee is freshly brewed, the spread cases are being filled, each day in this business is unique, you don’t know what’s going to happen or who you’re going to meet, but the first thing in the morning is always the same. There’s also just something special about people coming into your place of business to start their day.
Q: If your business had a theme song, what would it be?
A: Daniel: Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Just recently as last week, a customer said to me, “you know some of the staff here may change but the customers have been the same for over thirty years, there’s so many people I know because I eat at Livingston Bagel.”
Q: If you could service any celebrity as a client, who would it be?
A: Brooke: Bruce Springsteen. Because I Love Him! Daniel: If he were still alive, James Gandolfini.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Livingston?
A: Brooke: I grew up here - It’s a tight knit community. I have everything I need here, including bagels.
Daniel: People seem to be very proud of their town; Livingston has its own identity, it’s not like that where I come from. Here its more of a hometown feel.
Q: When you’re not at work, what is your favorite thing to do?
A: Daniel: Anything that includes my little princess, Sloane (Sloane is 6 months old).
Brooke: I like being with my family - taking Sloane to the park with Dan.
Q: Who is your hero?
A: Brooke: My mom is an amazing woman. She’s like Superwoman.
Daniel: My father-in-law, David Feinsilver. He teaches me a lot about business and about being a good man.
Livingston Bagels was recently the host of a LACC “breakfast on the road.” For more information on Livinston Bagels call Daniel at (973) 994-1915 and view their menus online.