CTB Might Offer More Than Just Nostalgia

Gabe Schiffer’s column on Collegetown Bagels is extraordinarily colorful and eloquent. Unfortunately, it misses the larger picture about this iconic, decades-old, family-run local business. CTB has been around for nearly half a century, initially known in the 1970s as The Bagelry. Its expansion, unparalleled by any other business in Ithaca, has created a huge number of jobs in this community: At any given time, CTB employs hundreds of staff. CTB sources much of the electricity they use from solar power, recycling and composting are daily rituals and they actively seek to source their ingredients from local suppliers.

CTB Sells Nostalgia, Not Bagels

Every Cornell applicant is guided around our campus and force-fed endless stories about the institution that is Collegetown Bagels. CTB has a pervasive presence throughout the entire Ithaca area and is undoubtedly a part of Cornell’s culture. I can’t blame students for loving the restaurant where they have fond memories of late nights and early mornings, but the worship of this shop’s bagels has gotten out of hand. Students will often rave about their food, so I’ve written this article to analyze CTB separate from our collective nostalgia and bring us back to reality. You may think I’m just a grumpy New Jersyian that is just looking to be a contrarian, while I sulk and dream of a grease-laden taylor ham egg and cheese, and you may be right.

I Made Bread Too

The only thing better than the aroma of freshly baked bread is the sweet smell of hot chocolate chip cookies; quarantine has provided ample time for my family to make (and consume) both. Over the past few months, we have experimented with many different varieties of bread in an attempt to make our lives more exciting. My family has always been a bread-loving bunch. For years, my mom has used a bread maker that mixes and kneads the dough. With this time-saving machine, we can add ingredients to the machine, leave it for two hours on “dough” cycle and return to shape and bake it in the oven (which we prefer over baking in the bread machine).