When Marc Rosenfeld came to Boston in the early 1970’s, it was legal briefs, not bagels, that were at the forefront of his mind. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Rutgers, Marc was enrolled at the Suffolk University School of Law, where during one fateful, late night study session, a simple snack changed the course of his life forever.
“One of my friends offered me a bagel he had gotten from one of the local shops,” Marc recalls. “I took a bite and thought to myself – I can do better.” And better, he did.
While a young law student from New Jersey may not have seemed the most likely person behind what would become one of the most iconic bagel shops in the Greater Boston area, Marc actually had quite a lot of experience in the trade. While earning his degree at Rutgers, he had worked for one of the top bagel shops in Westwood, New Jersey, where he’d learned quite a lot about what goes into making a quality bagel. It wasn’t long before that experience fueled his passing thought into a mild obsession that quickly flourished into a small business.
In 1973, not long after at that late night study session and with only a 120 dozen bagels and a handful of cream cheese flavors, Marc opened Rosenfeld’s Bagels. At first, he wasn’t sure if Boston was ready for his new creation, but his recipes and techniques were exceptional and its wasn’t long before he started to gain a rapidly growing, loyal customer base.
In fact, by 1976 the business at Rosenfeld’s was growing so rapidly Marc needed help. It was at this time he brought on Master Baker, Peter DeRosa, to help increase production while still preserving the traditional techniques that made Rosenfeld’s Bagels so delicious and popular. With Peter on board, the business continued to grow, as did the menu, with more bagel flavors, more spreads, handmade Challah bread and delicious, traditional Jewish pastries.
Rosenfeld’s reputation spread like wildfire. It soon became more than a Jewish-community favorite. Rosenfeld’s became a Boston-area icon, reviewed and adored by top publications, including The Boston Globe, The Improper Bostonian, The Boston Phoenix, The Newton Tab and Boston Magazine. Rosenfeld’s has even had its brush with fame as a favorite of local and national celebrities, past and present.
Had it not been for that late night study session in 1972, Rosenfeld’s Bagels just might have been Rosenfeld & Associates, delivering solid legal briefs instead of delicious bagels and creamy spreads. Thank goodness for that small twist of fate that forever changed the course of Marc Rosenfeld’s history and brought to life one of Boston’s most delightful, historically rich, culinary treasures.