Beigel Bake London – The “White Shop” Interview
No trip to London is complete without a late-night (or first thing in the morning) bagel stop at London’s famous Beigel Bake. I reached out to the owners to learn a little bit more about their famous store and what makes their food so special. Descendant and owner, Daniel Cohen, kindly gave me some of his time and shared their special story:
When did you acquire the shop in Bricklane?
My Dad and his brother acquired the shop in 1974, but were baking for years before in the shop currently two doors down from us. This shop belonged to another family member who has passed away now.
Did you know anything about beigels or pastrami before you started?
My Dad and his brothers have been making Beigel for many years before Beigel Bake was established. My family was one of the first Beigel (Bagel) bakers in London and made them the popular product they are today.
Being Jewish, Pastrami was always a favourite treat, which was eaten and loved often. There was a kosher deli close by that sold it and my Dad would go and eat there. They closed down as the owner retired. My Dad, loving it, decided to create the Salt Beef (Pastrami|) Beigel.
Who taught you to bake?
It is a family recipe that has been used by my family for many years.
How many beigels do you sell a day?
We sell Beigel as retail and wholesale. We sell around 3000 a day.
What inspires your menu?
Our menu is based on classic, timeless fillings in keeping with a kosher deli – combined with traditional Jewish breads and cakes. You could say we are a Jewish bakery and Deli mix.
How on earth did the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit?!
They were visiting the east end of London, where we are based, during the lockdown. They came to see how businesses were fairing during the restrictions, etc.
Their publicist got in touch with us knowing we are a well-known landmark in the are and informed us that they would love to visit and show their support.
It was an unexpected and welcomed honor. They are two of the nicest people one could meet and I was glad to have done so.
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Worst customer you’ve ever had?
I cannot pinpoint the worst customer ever, but some people are difficult to deal with and have an extraordinary expectation – others are as pleasant as could be.
Are you friendly with the yellow store or is there a rivalry?
That particular shop was owned by my late uncle so we have a friendly relationship. Naturally we are in direct competition, however, we do not begrudge anyone a living.
There have been times that the other shop wanted to borrow something from us and we do the same from them. It is nice to be nice. What will be will be.
What makes you proud of your store?
I am proud that my father and his brothers came to the country with, basically, nothing and created a thriving and successful business. I now run it with my brother and supporting ourselves and all our employees.
He and the bakery are a well known and loved part of London east end. My family accomplished something that others only dream of.
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What do you recommend for a first-time shopper?
Definitely our world-famous salt beef Beigels (pastrami bagel), salmon and cream cheese Beigel and our baked cheese cake. Everything we sell is made by us in store! So it is all fresh, all the time, 24hrs a day.
Thank you to Beigel Bake!
Check out this humble, family run beigel store in the heart of Bricklane if you’re next in London. Alternatively, follow them on Instagram and keep up with their baked goods. YUM!