History of bagels

The humble bagel originated in Krakow, Poland under the influence of the Polish King Jan III Sobieski.

Upon his return from the war, a baker made a stirrup-shaped bread in honour of the King which became known as the Bagel or Beigel, which originates from the German word for stirrup.

The first printed mention of bagels was found in a community regulation pamphlet in 1610, and it stated that "Bagels would be given as a gift to any woman expecting a child".

Bagels quickly became popular in Poland, becoming a staple food source amoung Eastern Europeans. It eventually arrived in New York in the 1880s as hundreds of thousands of Eastern European Jews emigrated to America.

It was in New York that the International Bagels Baker Union was founded in 1907, and was only open for membership to sons of union members to safeguard the recipe.

After World War I, the son of a bagel baker started to experiment with a bagel-baking machine and over the years, invented several models but each one had flaws. It was in the early 1960s, when the son of the original inventor broke through with the Thompson Bagel Machine, which was capable of producing anywhere from 200 to 400 bagels per hour.

History of Mr Bagels

1988 - The journey of Mr Bagels began in North London, where brothers Avi and Paul Kahalani started baking their own bagels

1992 - With rising demand for their bagels, a dedicated factory was acquired in Stratford

1996 - Mr Bagels Ltd. was officially incorporated as Paul Kahalani expanded production to cater to multiple retail and wholesale sellers

2000 - Tesco launched their ISB (in-store bakery range) with In-Store-Dough

2001 - Various flavours including plain, onion, poppy, and cinnamon & raisin were launched across retail supermarket chains

2003 - The next major milestone in production was achieved through £3Mn of investment into a state-of-the-art facility covering 45000 sqft, resulting in quadrupled production

2004 - With new contracts acquired in the retail and food service sectors, a further £600k was invested to create a fully-automated plant with new machinery

2006 - MAP (modified atmospheric packaging) was introduced for long shelf-life products

2007 - First foray into the European market with export sales

2008 - The "Natural Bagel Co." product range was launched for more discerning customers

2009 - Additional flavours were introduced (such as cheese and jalapeño) along with a very popular mini-bagel range