Jim and Sara Januszka have dreamed of opening their own bagel shop for more than 19 years. After all, a bagel first brought the two together in Michigan.
The year was 1991. Jim was the co-owner of a bagel shop he and his sister opened in Grand Rapids, Mich. Every day, like clockwork, Sara went to Jim’s shop after work to buy one plain bagel for her long drive home.
“We never talked, but if the bagels were getting low Jim would put one aside for me with my name on it,” Sara said.
Finally, after six long weeks, Jim gained enough courage to ask Sara out on a date. In 1993, the couple married and Jim left the business so he could join the Army as a field artillery officer.
Jim, Sara and their five children have been stationed in Korea, Alaska, Japan, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Fort Hood. In 2002, the Januszkas bought a home in Harker Heights with the idea they would someday return to open a business after Jim retired from the Army.
With Jim’s final days in the Army quickly approaching, the couple spent the last year planning and making their dream a reality.
Everyone in the community has been involved, they said, from taste-testing sessions during lunch at Union Grove Middle School to their youngest daughter Ella inspiring the business name.
“During one of Jim’s sample tastings, we were all sitting at the table and our youngest girl Ella, who was 4 at the time, could not get her mouth around one of the bagels and she said, ‘Dad, I can’t bite the bagel.’ I looked at him and was like, ‘That’s it, that’s the name.’”
Initially, they were hoping to have their grand opening March 15, to coincide with Jim’s last day in the Army. But with some construction delays, they now anticipate an early April opening.
Jim said there is no other place in Harker Heights that sells what they will provide.
“If you like Einstein’s, you will love us,” he said. “We are better.”
Sara, a self-proclaimed body builder and certified personal trainer, is excited to offer the community healthier food, in particular her homemade natural peanut butter.
Besides fresh-baked bagels, the shop will also offer items like Italian sodas, homemade gourmet salads, bagel sandwiches cut fresh to order and their own label coffees.
For more information about Bite the Bagel, go to www.facebook.com/BiteTheBagelDeliCafe.