Goldstein’s Bagel Bakery was founded in 1989 by Michael and Bridget Agabra Goldstein. Goldstein’s was created because Michael got hooked on fresh bagels while in Monterey California. Every morning he went to a bustling bagel shop and waited for hot bagels to come out of the oven. A cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese was his ritual. When Michael moved to the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California, he noticed that there was not even one place he could get his hot cinnamon raisin bagel right out of the oven. Seeing the opportunity to offer people a great product at a reasonable price, he set out to look for a mentor and the perfect location for a bagel store. Between 1988 and 1990 Michael and Bridget found that location, were trained in how to make bagels by that shop in Monterey, built their first bagel store in Old Town Pasadena, bought a house, and had their first child.
The first store was located in a dusty former wine shop at the corner of Colorado and Delacey in Old Pasadena. This was not the bustling retail center it is now, but an area in transition with lots of offices nearby and a movie theater across the street. Every day during construction, people would say “Bagels?!? But there aren’t any Jews in Pasadena.” To which we’d reply “Doesn’t everyone eat tacos or Chinese food?” Although the very first sale on the very first day was only a carton of milk, people became familiar with the hearty, chewy bagels that were made from scratch in the bakery and served as sandwiches or with cream cheese. Indeed, Goldstein’s Bagel Bakery has been a huge success since opening in 1989. We are proud of the product we serve and the satisfaction we see in our very own customers. Now, for many customers, our bagels are their ritual.
After the parking lot of the Pasadena store was turned into a retail complex, the idea for a drive-through bagel bakery just seemed right. (Having a car with toddlers David and Matthew to transport made that a family need!) So a former dry cleaner in Arcadia became store #2, with a wide range of hot sandwiches, breakfasts, and our unique Bagel Burger! The City of Arcadia gave the store an award for the beautiful transformation of the building.
Our traditional methods are time consuming, labor intensive and take a great deal of training and skill to perfect. From the very beginning – using only high gluten flour, malt, salt, yeast and water – every step requires craft to make a Goldstein’s bagel. The moisture content of the wheat affects the water needed; the heat of the season impacts the rising time. Each batch of bagels is unique, producing great taste and an individual appearance for each bagel. No supermarket bread dough circles here! Our competitors use multiple amounts of chemicals in their bagels. We keep all of our ingredients natural.
After rising, the bagels rest in a cool refrigerator overnight before kettling and baking. Kettling is done by boiling the bagels in a huge soup kettle of plain water. This step plumps the bagel, kills the yeast and makes the genuine shine you see on our bagels – no oil involved. The baker must know precisely when to remove the bagels from the water to avoid making huge baseballs or flat pancake bagels!
After kettling, the bagels are baked directly on the hearth stone of our ovens, providing a crunchy bottom that cannot be duplicated.
Goldstein’s Bagel Today
Although many things have changed in the years since opening (the family has expanded to include Laurie Goldstein, and those toddlers are now young men) the deep pleasure of bringing delicious food to our customers has not changed. Visit us in Arcadia for the best New York Style bagel anywhere on the West Coast!