Rich in history. Committed to quality. Bagels made the old-fashioned way. Goldbergs Fine Foods, originally named Goldberg & Son, started in 1972 as a small true father-and-son run Atlanta deli serving six varieties of authentic New York-style boiled bagels and one very popular Po’ Boy sandwich. The location was a small but very popular traditional New York deli.
Wayne Saxe and Howard Aaron both emigrated from South Africa to the U.S. over 20 years ago. While they loved their new city and new surroundings, they also found themselves pining for the comforting, authentic cooking of their Jewish grandmothers back home. They searched all over Atlanta for those specific, special flavors of home until friends pointed them in the direction of Goldberg & Son, where they discovered bagels as delicious as those they grew up with in Johannesburg—along with an opportunity to make Goldberg & Son so much more. With Saxe’s background in accounting and Aaron’s expertise in food service, they formed a partnership and made an offer to buy out Mr. Goldberg.
Renaming the restaurant first Goldberg’s Bagel & CO and then Goldbergs Fine Foods, they built a New York-style delicatessen empire that has blossomed to six deli locations around the metro area. Today, Goldbergs is a respected brand in its founding city of Atlanta—so much so that the Atlanta Braves have chosen to partner with them in the creation of the Atlanta Braves All-Star Grill at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world. Goldberg’s now boasts three additional locations at Hartsfield, including a partnership café with The New York Times located in Concourse E. Those perfect Goldbergs bagels and famous Po’ Boys have remained, while the culinary options have expanded tenfold to offer a menu of New York City proportions. To this day, Saxe and Aaron remain the two sole owners—both are still onsite every day integrally involved in every aspect of their business.
Though Goldbergs has expanded its menu offerings to include a wide range of breakfast, lunch items and now dinner entrees at select locations, bagels are still at the heart of the company. That’s why Goldbergs staff continues to bake more than 700 dozen bagels every weekday and more than 1,200 dozen on the weekends. Today, more than 32 varieties—from salt, to asiago cheese, to super cinnamon—can be smeared with any of a dozen flavors of house-made cream cheeses, nova or hummus. Using an Old World method, the handmade bagels are given a swift boil and are then set upon redwood boards, where they bask in a rotating, 500-degree oven until browned to an ideal crispness.
The famous Po’ Boys haven’t changed since 1972, either. Each Goldbergs location prepares three or four dozen every morning, layering the savory salami, bologna, corned beef, turkey and mustard on fresh-baked French bread. Patrons can pick these up at the counter along with thick, rounded scoops of homemade deli salads, pickled tomatoes, stuffed cabbage and steamed corned-beef pastrami. Homestyle frozen casseroles can be brought home and cooked in the oven for a warm, home-cooked family meal. Every day, the Goldbergs’ kitchen buzzes with the boiling of matzah balls, slicing of local produce and cracking of eggs.
Goldbergs Fine Foods may have expanded their menu and number of locations over the years, but importance of quality, the concentration on the customer—the ideals and values reminiscent of times past—remain and are its continuing recipe for not only great food but success as well.