Apart from the occasional Passover break, Bialy’s Bagels (2267 Warrensville Ctr. Rd., 216-371-1088) has been chugging along since 1966 with very few interruptions. But that all changed last month thanks to COVID-19.
“We stopped making dough and baking bagels on March 13,” says Rachel Gross, who runs the shop with her sister Sarah. “We didn’t feel comfortable encouraging the community to be out, we’re in such a tight space, and we have employees that ride the bus…”
After having time to evaluate their business practices and contemplate ways to possibly reopen while ensuring the safety of staff and customers, the owners made the decision last week to get back to baking some of the city’s best bagels.
“We felt confident in our ability to make adjustments to our processes so we can keep our staff small and our distance from customers and get back to making bagels,” adds Gross.
The most meaningful change was the launch of a Toast POS system
to manage online ordering and payment. Considering that Bialy’s only recently started accepting anything but cash, the move was audacious. Customers place their order at least a day in advance, pay, and select a narrow pick-up window. Orders are retrieved outside the store and no walk-up business is permitted.
The product selection is largely the same as always, and orders can be picked up Wednesday-Thursday 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
So far, so good, says Gross, adding that Bialy’s is selling as much as they can produce.
“I was a little nervous after not having a 4:15 a.m. alarm for a month, but it feels really good to be back,” she says.