Manhattan Bagel has focused on giving customers a quality product while keeping prices reasonable for 15 years. Although the establishment has been in Wayne for that long, it hasn’t been easy to stay in business.
The Great Recession hit local businesses hard. The price of wheat increased dramatically, making it more difficult for bagel shop and deli owners to make a profit.
“Since 2008 it’s been so much different here,” said owner Klodian Oparaku. “Before that someone would call up and say ‘this is what I want. Now the first thing they ask is ‘how much is all of this going to cost?’ It’s been a challenge.”
Manhattan Bagel is a franchise operation. The parent company has existed for 25 years. Oparaku has owned the Wayne location for six years.
“We like to think that our bagels are different,” said Oparaku. “We bake and boil our bagels, not too many places still make them that way.”
Oparaku said the fact that it is a franchise helps the business to succeed. Even though Manhanttan’s menu may not be as extensive as its competitors, having few items allows the stores to focus offering what people really want to eat. Manhattan offers a variety of grilled lunch sandwiches and has a lighter fare menu for people counting calories.
“People will go to Dunkin’ Donuts (located in the same plaza) for coffee and then come here for bagels and sandwiches, which is really nice,” Oparaku said. “To have people be loyal to you means a lot even if they don’t buy everything from you.”
For the first time beginning Oct. 6 the store will donate 10 cents from each cup of coffee sold to the American Cancer Society.