Friday, October 19, 2007

Willy's Bagels

I did an interview with the Richardson family--Ron and Karen and their kids, Ryan, Scott and Julie, owners of Willy's Bagels & Blends in Brentwood.

I personally like bagels since my friend, M, taught me how to eat it with cream cheese and orange juice for breakfast when we were young and poor and New York. Since then, I have dreamed of opening a bakery in Tagaytay, Philippines when I retire. I have tried to make bagels twice in my life and to say that I was not successful means that the onion and garlic bagels that I so tenderly kneaded came out like rocks (but softer on the inside) and only my husband was kind enough to eat them!

I was blown away by the bagel showcase at Willy's: Plain. Blueberry. Sesame. Egg. Garlic. Whole Wheat. Poppy. Onion. Cinnamon Raisin. Salt. Jalapeno. Sourdough. Chocolate Chip. New York. Of course there was the Everything Bagel sprinkled with poppy, sesame, and sunflower seeds.

Their bagels are bigger and heftier, dough-y and specially made for sandwiches, but will definitely stand alone anytime, but better with their shmears (flavored cream cheeses) all the time.

There are also other goodies like danish and cookies and fresh-fruit smoothies.

The coffee is a special house-blend, roasted just for Willy's. They boast of a full range of coffee blends--from espressos to white chocolate mochas. And their prices are way more affordable than coffee chains.

I put their brewed house-blend to the test to fully investigate its flavors and undertones. Their coffee is mild and smooth and none of the acidic-sour taste of bigger chains. I enjoyed that cup of coffee a lot, and with my Homemade Chicken Salad on an Asiago Bagel sandwich for lunch, I was very happy.

There's something for everyone at Willy's. I saw a couple of kids enjoy their Chocolate Chip Bagels with cream cheese and chocolate milk. There were a couple of ladies who were lunching out.

A true family-owned and operated business, dad Ron said that everyone can "do everything." That means, each of them can bake, can sell, can clean, or run the stores. I could feel their tight bond as a family, where the children actually take a genuine interest in their parents' business and work ethics.

They are very much involved with the Brentwood community, raising funds for scholarships, hosting events, and even providing on-the-job-training for youth with special needs.

The Richardson family--Karen and Ron (front) and kids
Julie, Scott, and Ryan

Visit their new branch at 390 West Country Club Drive, Brentwood or call (925) 308-7534.



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