An open kitchen bagel company serving New York-style bagels, Boichik Bagels, will open soon in the original Noah’s Bagels location on the corner of College Avenue and Alcatraz Avenue.
Emily Winston, founder of Boichik Bagels, said her bagels are traditional New York-style bagels, which are boiled before being baked on stone to create the traditional soft inside with a thicker, shiny exterior. She added that her bagels have a “malty sweetness” to them, which makes them a perfect blend with salty lox.
Winston remembers the “special occasion bagels” she would get from H&H Bagels, a landmark bagel company in New York, as a child growing up in central New Jersey. When H&H Bagels closed in 2011, Winston said she thought she would never have a good bagel again. So, Winston decided to try to recreate them even though she had no previous baking experience.
There are a lot of different bagels on the West Coast, Winston said, but what she and other former East Coast residents were missing was the traditional New York-style bagel.
“I just wanted the bagel that I wanted to eat. This whole thing started as an entirely selfish project,” Winston said.
As Winston continued to develop and refine her recipe, her friends began asking her to sell the bagels. After a great reception at the Eat Real Festival in Oakland two years ago, Winston said she started seriously looking into opening a business and signed the lease for the building a year and a half ago.
The name is an homage to Winston’s grandmother, who called her a “boychik” when she visited her 30 years ago with a new haircut. “Boychik” is a Yiddish term of endearment for a young boy. Winston said she liked the alliteration with the b’s and she changed the y to an i to make it “more fun.”
After many months of construction and challenges, Winston said the store will open soon but couldn’t provide an exact date. She added that there has been a great reception in Berkeley, with many people telling her that they have been waiting for good New York-style bagels to come to the area.
“People are cuckoo! They are practically knocking the door down demanding bagels,” Winston said. “I think we’re going to have a mob scene on our hands when we have the soft opening.”