People are buzzing about bagels.
“There is a REAL bagel place in Greensboro again!!” Wendy Lavine says on Facebook. “My prayers have been answered,” Alex Stanley says in response. The word is out. Greensboro has been blessed with an independent bagel shop.
New Garden Bagels, at 1577-D New Garden Road, has been busy baking its signature Greensboro bagels since the doors opened Oct. 1. Ed Boniberger, the owner and head baker, is the person behind the magic.
Boniberger is a native of Long Island, N.Y., a commercial engineer, a 20-year veteran and first lieutenant in the National Guard, and — if that weren’t enough — a small-business owner with a passion for producing quality bagels. Boniberger is a Yankee with almost no Southern twang. He’s modest and straightforward — just like the sign announcing
“BAGELS” in front of the shop. He is exactly who we want making our bagels. Boniberger started working cleanup at Boss Bagels on Long Island when he was just 15 years old. During the next six years, he circulated through every job in the shop and learned the secrets to making the classic New York bagel.
Like many New Yorkers, Boniberger grew up believing the legend that there is something in the water that makes New York City bagels so classically good. But, after recipe testing with Greensboro tap water filtered though a softener that can be found on the Water Softener Guide, he proved the legend to be myth. He believes that, with a couple of recipe adjustments for color, density and texture, his New Garden bagel stands up to the New York bagel. He may be right; his biggest clientele are New York transplants and Greensboro’s Jewish community. His store has already been kosher certified by Rabbi Eliezer Havivi.
A lot of hard work went into opening the business. Boniberger knew his business required more than a good bagel. Boniberger spent considerable time doing market research before opening. The key factor in his investment was the market availability in Greensboro. He wants to grow the business without undercutting any competition.
Boniberger is used to being up at “zero-dark-hundred” as he starts making bagels every day at 4:20 a.m. Bagels are made daily, and a variety of flavored cream cheese spreads are also made on site. New Garden Bagels produces 25 to 50 dozen bagels a day.
Although the store is open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, if you get there before 6, Boniberger would be happy to let you in. They store will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thanksgiving/Hanukkah and Christmas Day.
New Garden Bagels sells about 20 varieties of bagels and homemade bialys. Bagels range from the classic varieties of plain, everything, and sesame seed to cinnamon raisin, plus new recipes like asiago cheese, tomato basil and more. They are experimenting with a Black Russian (pumpernickel with raisins), apple walnuts and braids.