January 15: Let’s Celebrate “Bagel Day”!

My husband grew up in a town with easy access to lots of independently owned restaurants. The community rallies around these businesses and, although not all of them are ultimately successful, there is widespread support for these local eateries.

I grew up on Chain Restaurant Row: Olive Garden, Chili’s, Red Lobster, TGI Friday’s…These were the backdrop for meals out with friends and pre-Homecoming dinners.

Now that we have our own home, we find ourselves in a suburb where chain restaurants are prevalent, but small, independently owned restaurants are sprinkled throughout the community. They are like little gems waiting to be discovered, and we’re lucky to have found a few.

One of our favorites is the Royal Bagel Bakery in Germantown. It’s a New York style bakery, and we’ve been loyal customers for close to 17 years. The bagels are chewy, the cream cheese is fluffy, and they have successfully ruined every other bagel for me. They are the standard by which I measure all other breakfasts.

The bakery is the kind of place where, even though the line is out the door on weekend mornings, the staff remembers you, and even though the owner thinks my name is Jenn, (What can I say? I was too shy to correct her 17 years ago, and “Jenn” has just become my bagel alter ego), she welcomes us with open arms and dotes on my kids. The Royal Bagel Bakery is part of the backdrop of my life in Maryland, the impromptu breakfast on a Saturday morning, the happy spot where my children leave with cream cheese smiles, and the booths where we sit smooshed together, starting off our day on the right foot.

Independently owned restaurants like the bakery are the fabric of our communities, and especially in a pandemic, it is so important to show them our support. After all, there is never a bad time for a bagel.

ordering from your favorite local business and thanking them for what they add to your community.

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