Ike’s Serves Up Breakfast and Lunch Featuring Homemade Ingredients and Bagels Made the Old Fashioned Way
Café at The Shoppes at the Livingston Circle Offers Free Wi-Fi, Comfortable Seating Plus Catering and Local Delivery
When 25-year-old Jordan Vaccari graduated from college, he couldn’t wait to go into the family business – retail food – with his dad and brother.
The folks around Livingston, N.J. are glad he did. Since opening Ike’s Bagel Café in The Shoppes at the Livingston Circle a year ago, Vaccari has steadily been serving hand-rolled bagels and made-from-scratch fare for breakfast and lunch.
“I come from a family of foodies,” says Vaccari, whose grandfathers (one of whom was Ike) were both in the food and catering business. “Over the years I’ve helped my brother run our other bagel store in Wyckoff, Goldberg’s Famous Bagels – voted ‘Best Bagels in Bergen County’ for the last six years. So I thought it would be a good idea to bring our top-rated bagels to Essex County.”
The Ike’s Difference
Many bagel stores today steam their bagels instead of boiling them. Ike’s makes bagels the original way: hand-rolled, water kettle boiled and baked on revolving racks. Boiling, which is more labor intensive than steaming, is what gives bagels their crackly crust and shine, and delicious flavor.
According to Vaccari, Ike’s makes about 60 dozen bagels daily and 180 dozen bagels each Saturday and Sunday. The most popular flavors are plain, everything, sesame and whole wheat. Flagels (flat bagels) also are a big hit.
Vaccari’s cafe is about more than just bagels. The chef at Ike’s, Sylvester Browne, has more than 40 years of experience including a stretch at the famed Carnegie Deli in New York City. He makes everything from scratch, including flavored cream cheeses, salads, latkes, corned beef, pastrami, soups, chopped liver, stuffed cabbage, chicken pot pie, fresh turkey, salads and much more – all displayed in a pristine deli case to show the variety and freshness. Vaccari’s dad, Steve, who helps him run the café, says, “Eye Appeal is Buy Appeal.”
In addition to a variety of breakfast and lunch sandwiches – including the wildly popular Reuben and Mad Max (roast beef, turkey, Swiss, coleslaw, Russian dressing) – the menu offers healthy options including a salad bar, quinoa, avocados and freshly squeezed orange juice. Customers as well as employees are encouraged to submit menu suggestions, which have enriched the café’s offerings.
With its sleek, modern décor, spacious seating, and free Wi-Fi, Ike’s Bagel Café is designed to appeal to those looking for a comfortable spot to relax or work. The location can easily accommodate small lunch meetings and client conferences, and additional outdoor seating will be available during warm weather months.
“We scouted locations for months,” said Vaccari. “My brother has been coming to the Zen Japanese Restaurant here at The Shoppes at the Livingston Circle, and we liked the fact that The Fresh Market was moving in. There also are many office buildings surrounding the center, filled with people who need to eat, and commuters coming on and off of Route 280. It was the logical place for us to open Ike’s.”
The Shoppes at the Livingston Circle, located at 277 Eisenhower Parkway, has plenty of parking and is easily accessible from Routes 280 and 10. The 93,000-square-foot shopping center is managed and developed by Livingston-based Eastman Companies. Florian Suserman of Ripco Real Estate is exclusive leasing agent.
Catering and Delivery a Benefit for Local Organizations
Vaccari is eager to build relationships with companies, schools and organizations in the area to serve their catering and dietary needs. His outreach has included offering seasonal specials, corporate accounts and free delivery to Livingston area businesses; donations to and participation in community events; and partnering with local synagogues to offer traditional Jewish fare for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Shivas, parties and special occasions.
“During tax season we offered food specials to accounting firms so they could get through the hectic months without worrying about what and where to eat,” said Vaccari. Ike’s also donated bagels to the Pet Adoption events at The Shoppes, and supplied special, colorful bagels for The Arts Council of Livingston’s Holiday Spirit Art Event for Livingston elementary schools for grades 2 through 8. “We’d be happy to do the same for other area businesses and organizations,” adds Vaccari.
Ike’s is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday – Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For more information visit www.ikesbagelcafe.org.
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