ABOUT PAULIE’S BAGELS
In 2013 my wife and I moved to Napa for work and family (and it happened to be the most beautiful area I’d ever seen). Life was great, but I couldn’t find a good bagel. Bagels matter to me, a lot. Bagels were a critical part of my life growing up. Sure there are “bagels,” but you can’t just put a hole in a piece of dough and call it a bagel. Too dense, too sweet, not enough salt, not boiled! I wanted a bagel that was as good or better than my favorites in New York city and Philadelphia. So I started from scratch.
Step one: Only the very best ingredients available, and organic, non-GMO if at all possible. No not a certified organic product, just as many uncompromising organic ingredients as possible!
Step two: No copy catting or jumping on a silly trend like Montreal style. Starting from the ground up formulating a dough by the gram, shaping, boiling, baking, tasting. Repeat. 170 times. Record every detail down to the second of boiling time.
Step three: Start slow, sell to just a few people, get feedback. Find yourself suddenly drowning in a sea of bagels but be happy that you’re giving people the best possible product you can make with the best possible ingredients and they’re raving about it.
My childhood nickname was Paulie. Some people still stick with it. I grew up in southeast Pennsylvania in Chester County in a small town called Coventryville. There was a lot of open space, real farms producing dairy and meat, and the development and strip malls hadn’t arrived. That was a very simple, pleasant window in time, in which I could focus on the small details. Almost every single day started with 2 Lender’s onion bagels, which used to be sold frozen (before people mistakenly took on the belief that shelf stable products are better and the ingredient lists doubled).
They were awesome every day, for years. The little details of simple pleasures stuck with me as I climbed from a dishwasher to an executive chef. I never cared about money or status, I just wanted to give people food that mattered in their day. Fast forward to the present day and that’s exactly what Paulie’s Bagels is about.