Our Story

I was working these crazy hours in real estate back in the early '80s. I would be in my car traveling for 7 hours a day, going building to building. When I got to thse buildings, something was always wrong or someone wasn't happy. Neither was I. Moving along, my wife was working a conference at the Washington Hilton, so I decided I would visit her for the weekend. I really liked the DC Metro Area. We also had a friend who was going to Georgetown dental school at the time. I decided to pay Eddie a visit at school. I told him that I really liked the area down here and asked what would be a good business to open. Eddie told me the bagels in the area were really awful and a light bulb went off over my head. The rest is history.

I went back to NYC and talked legendary baker Manny Strugatch into letting us apprentice in his bagel ship before and after our full-time jobs. So on a small, shoe-string budget, we opened our Bethesda location in 1982. It was a really sleepy area at the time, but people were starved for new and good products. Word got out and our reputation began to grow. We made a lot of mistakes along the way, but eventually we got it to where it is today. The concrete plant is no longer down the street, the railroad tracks are long gone, as well as the old screen door. Four sons and millions of bagels  later, we're happy to say that we are still here -- the oldest original tenant that started on Bethesda Row.

Our family and business has grown alongside this community. We are still as in love with the area now as we were the first time we visited. We continue to stay involved. When you come into our stores, there is a good chance that you will see me, Fran, or one of our sons. Bethesda Bagels is and always will be family owned and operated.

-The Fleishmans