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It's no secret that New Yorkers have a legendary love affair with the bagel, an original handheld bakery favorite. Yet, amidst the myriad bagel venues within the intensely competitive market that is the Big Apple, H&H Midtown Bagels East, on the Upper East Side, has been a must-have destination for bagels and other convenient baked favorites since the mid-1980s.
Dean Manos owns and manages H&H Midtown Bagels East with his business partners, Clay Anderson and Ted Kamper. The shop, which has been in Dean's family for years, is open 24 hours a day – and for good reason. The demand for its signature New York style bagels runs strong around the clock. Progressive Baker® Hummer® high gluten flour is a big reason why.
"We eat and breathe Hummer flour around here – it's so integral to what we do," said Dean. "We've used it as the foundation for our scratch bagel recipes for about 15 years, and it's never let us down." Though the traditional plain bagel is the best-seller, H&H Midtown Bagels East's hand-rolled Cinnamon Raisin, Sesame and Everything Bagels each also have a loyal following.
"We experimented with all-purpose flours and other options," recalls Dean, "but the results ended up being more like 'bread with a hole in it.' None of them could come close to the Hummer high gluten's performance. It has just the right protein level to create the chewy quality and distinctive crust that make our bagels a New York favorite. Progressive Baker's technical specialists even come in to help us adjust our process to make sure we're getting the best results."
In fact, their bagels are in such demand that Dean, Clay and Ted also sell their namesake product to landmark New York City restaurants and hotels, including the famous Plaza Hotel, as part of their robust wholesale business. Hard-core H&H Midtown Bagels East fans across the U.S. can even order fresh-made bagels for overnight shipment, through H&H's website.
But the heart of H&H Midtown Bagels East lies in its friendly, bustling retail shop, located at 2nd Avenue and 81st Street, where it also sells premium scratch cakes, cookies, muffins, donuts, pastries and deli favorites to fast-paced New Yorkers.
"During the week," said Dean, "our 'regulars' stop in for their morning bagel and coffee on their way to work. They've been with us so long, we know what they want as soon as they step through the door. Everything we do is made to order – whether they want to top it with one of our cream cheeses or fresh meats to create their lunchtime sandwich. And our staff is very quick, so customers can order, grab and go and be out the door in seconds."
Dean, Clay and Ted have added fresh sandwich wraps to the H&H Midtown Bagels East lineup, to appeal even further to the frenzied lunch crowd seeking a quality, portable offering they can enjoy on the subway, at work or wherever their daily demands take them.
Producing premium, irresistible bagels is still their main focus, and their main sales driver. H&H Midtown Bagels East is a huge success story in the Big Apple, and Progressive Baker® is proud to be part of it.