Gants Hill Shalom bagel shop has been sold

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A Gants Hill bakery has been sold to new owners.

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

After more than 33 years of serving some of the best salmon and cream cheese bagels in town, Amnon Shalom of Shalom Hot Bagel Bakery has sold his business and retired.

As of tomorrow (Thursday, May 2), the 66-year-old will be handing the keys to the shop in Woodford Avenue, Gants Hill, over to new owner Lawrence Samuel of Yummies, which delivers deli selections to many high-end shops including Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.

Speaking to the Recorder, Mr Shalom said he wanted to thanks residents for their patronage over the last three decades.

“We would like to thank all our customers for their support and loyalty for the last 33 years,” he said.

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

“I am sure that the new owner will continue on the same basis.

“We wanted to make sure that whoever came in would serve the community and all our customer with the same level of care and I am sure that they will.”

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Mr Samuel of Yummies promised to keep on using the same bread and bagel recipes and even said he would be extending the bread selection in time.

“We will definitely not be changing the recipe from Shalom products,” he confirmed.

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

“The bread they make is fantastic and it’s been working for the guy (Mr Shalom) for 33 years.

“We’re very excited to gradually add many Yummies favourites to the business, including deli highlights like hand-cut salmon, hot soups, hot salt beef, and hot chicken schnitzels.

“Gants Hill will also provide a new home to our rainbow bagel, alongside a larger selection of bagels including onion, multiseed, wholemeal, cinnamon and raisin, and chocolate options.

“We’re proud to be bringing something very rare, a great tasting gluten-free bagel, so everyone in the family can enjoy them.”

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears

New owner, Lawrence. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Mr Samuel owns two other Yummies shop in London and had no plans to open a third.

However when a friend informed him about Shalom and the situation with its lease he decided to jump in and help.

“Funnily enough, a lot of our Mill Hill customers have relatives or associations with Shalom Hot Bagels,” he added.

“A lot of them have great memories of the place and are excited to know that we’re going to be involved.

“Word has already spread very fast, and far - I have had messages from as far as Melbourne, and the deepest regions of Brazil talking about the takeover.”

“We love that the customer base is so diverse, and so loyal with people of all ages, from all ethnicities, visiting the place – sometimes on a daily basis.

“But it’s also a fantastic opportunity to synergise our business. With Shalom’s reputation and experience on the bakery side, and the expertise in deli food that Yummies can bring.”

Mr Samuel praised the current owners and said they have been fantastic and incredibly helpful and collaborative during the transition.

He has “total respect” for the way the business was run and their years of invaluable experience which helped made the hand over easier.

“They are both wonderful people and I hope we will remain friends for many years,” he said.

“It should be stressed that Ami sold us the business because he was confident that we could continue to improve it.

“He didn’t want to sell it to someone who would change its identity.

“He was even willing to let it close so that Shalom would be remembered as the great place that it was.

“They wanted so much to ensure that the customers get at least as good an experience as they’ve always had. So our meeting was fantastic for both parties.”

In time the shop will be refurbished but Yummies said they will only do it after feedback has been gathered from staff and customers.

However, the plans in the pipeline are to “rethink” the sales area and install a new deli counter to cope with the “bigger, fresh selection”.

There will be no job losses and he stated that Shalom recipes, twinned with Yummies’ deli background, would make an exciting combination.

“We love the tradition and values of Shalom and we intend to improve on it, but without changing what it is,” he explained.

“We hope to better it with more choices than they have ever seen before.

“We’re keen to be a part of the lives of the customers, whether that’s popping into our shop or catering for their event.

“Shalom has been a pillar of the local community for so long, it’s been such an important place to the people of Redbridge.

“From seeing the same customers every weekend across Radlett, and then Mill Hill [his other shops], I know the importance of keeping the high street alive.

“Besides, no one should be deprived of a smoked salmon bagel.”

The shop will open from 7.30am to midnight, Monday to Thursday and 7.30- 2am on Friday.

On Saturday it will stay open from 7.30am throughout the night, before closing at midnight on Sunday.