The Hamilton Spectator
‘Burlington born’ Bagel Barn set to open its doors
Terry Perusini could be tempted to add the tagline “not a franchise” to the name of his soon-to-open bagel shop. It’s important to the Burlington native that his fellow residents know that Bagel Barn is a home-grown, local business. In fact, he started experimenting with making bagels in his own kitchen under the guidance of world renown bagel expert and New Yorker Beth George. She has been featured on Food Network, Rachel Ray, and CBS Sunday Morning, where Perusini first saw her. Although new to the bagel business, Perusini is a seasoned entrepreneur who found success creating music compilation CDs beginning in the late ‘90s. He still has a copy of the Burlington Post that featured him on front page as the “music man” back in 1999. When told about his foray into bagels, a friend wondered about his affinity for round products with holes in the centre. Perusini also established Centre Ice Training, a hockey training facility that he sold and is still operating under the ownership of another local guy, Tommy Gilligan. Perusini “needed something else to get into” and is hoping to score again with Bagel Barn that will feature freshly baked bagels as well as an assortment of premium breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and a selection of specialty coffee. Bagel toppings will include traditional smoked salmon and cream cheese as well as a variety of other tasty options. “I have hired a professional baker,” says Perusini, who is happy to hand over the reins to an expert who can make the “fine tweaks” that go into creating the best bagels. The process requires the dough to rise overnight and then the bagels to rise again once formed. The café will open at 7 a.m., a couple of hours after the baking begins. The Fairway Street location will operate seven days a week until 4 p.m. His bagel business consultant who he had been meeting virtually for the past eight months, was able to travel from New York to Burlington’s Bagel Barn recently for an in-house consultation, checking out the equipment and the facility. Beth George has helped entrepreneurs around the world who share her passion for bagels to set up establishments like Perusini’s. “People love New York style bagels,” says Perusini and he’s counting on customers who also love supporting local businesses like Bagel Barn. Reading social media comments, he has noticed that there’s an assumption that when something new opens, it must be a franchise. He wants to emphasize that his business is as local as the kid who grew up on Orchard Road and has always lived in the city. Perusini’s bagel business is as locally grown as the pumpkins he and his brother used to harvest from their family farm’s fields and sell at the roadside. Watch for a soft opening of Bagel Barn soon that will feature bagels each day until they run out. Bagel Barn will fully open once final approvals are made official by the City. That would be an early Christmas gift for Perusini who is hoping it could be Monday, Dec. 20. Check out the website www.bagelbarn. ca for updates and follow Bagel Barn Burlington on Facebook and Instagram. Customers will be able to order online once Bagel Barn is fully open.