VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Charles and Shannon Cohen now live in Virginia Beach. For Charles, though, home used to be Brooklyn, New York.
"I miss going to New York, getting my bagels, and bringing them back," said Charles. That yearning is why the Cohens decided to open Brooklyn Bagels.
They serve your classic bagels like an everything bagel, plain bagel, jalapeño bagel. They also serve unique flavors like a rainbow bagel, a mimosa bagel, and the list goes on.
For Brooklyn Bagels, the secret is all in the water.
"That's the only I would do it; with a New York water system. So, we can give a true bagel or pizza experience," says Charles.
They have a water filtration system inside specifically designed to replicate the pH levels of New York water. The Cohens say this is the secret to creating a bagel that tastes like a proper New York bagel. That authentic taste is why their customers keep coming back. Most of them are transplants from the Northeast.
"We didn't realize how many people live here that come from up north and they are here almost every day, an amazing customer base," says Charles.
Almost every customer who walked through the doors while 13News Now was there had a northern accent. Most of them, just craving that bit of home.
"I love sitting down, talking to them, hearing their stories, and letting them enjoy a little taste of home," adds Charles.
The Cohens knew that they couldn't give that taste of New York with bagels alone. Using the same water filtration system, they opened Brooklyn Pizzeria steps away from Brooklyn Bagels.
Charles says giving northerners a taste of home for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is why he keeps both places up and running. Customer reactions and emotions when that bite brings back memories, in turn, makes him emotional.
"It's amazing, almost tearful; I love hearing it. It makes it all worthwhile," adds Charles.
You can visit Brooklyn Bagels at 2201 Upton Drive, Suite 904, Virginia Beach, VA 23454, or Brooklyn Pizzeria at 2181 Upton Drive, Suite 404, Virginia Beach, VA 23454.