Rob Giannino and his sister, Marie grew up in Sound Beach and attended from Kindergarten through 12th grade. While Rob was going to college he worked part time at the bagel place at 379 Route 25A in Rocky point, he found out the store was up for sale. The two siblings bought it and was born.
Now, Brooklyn Bagels is in its 11th year of providing bagels, sandwiches, and much more all while giving back to the community with various annual events. Patch sat down with Marie Giannino-Stewart and talked about the past, present and future of Brooklyn Bagels.
How did you get started?
"I'm a licensed cosmetologist by trade and I just got married and I was ready to do something different. It wasn’t in my plans but sometimes I think God puts things in your path for a reason. It's been a great experience."
What has been the biggest challenge?
"The economy. There’s so much fluctuation and I think people are just trying to watch more where they spend their money. We’re really close to our customers and we’re really proud of that, but one challenge is trying to make everyone happy. We try to do our best."
What do you enjoy most about your line of work?
"What I enjoy mostly is getting to use my creativity, and we like to come up with new things and see the customers enjoy something new we started and it taking off. I think the most rewarding part is the people I've made friends with, the people I've met. Its really put things at a different level, it’s not just going to work and owning a bagel store in the community I grew up in, it’s the major connections I've made that I've really enjoyed the most."
What are some of the things that are unique about your practice?
"We like to be different, stand out, give out more of a custom feel; a little hometown café where people can meet friends and make friends. Doing the community events. Doing the costume contest every year, the fundraisers and the Easter egg hunt. Being involved in the PTAs and the churches and anything that we can help out with is what we feel makes things different. We use Brooklyn bagels as an avenue to give back because we’ve been very blessed; it’s a way we are able to give back and reach out to the community."
What are your plans for both the immediate future and long-term as well?
"Currently, Rob and I are hashing out some new ideas, some menu changes, new dishes in the Boars Head deli case; we’re trying to add new things. The smoothies were an addition we did pretty well with this year. I don’t think there’s anything big in the immediate future but we’re always trying to change things."
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