By: Lindsey Kelleher
First Raied Muheisen’s uncle Sam went into the bagel business.
Then Raied’s cousin Mike started making and selling bagels.
The brothers opened Totowa Bagels in November 2017, and now a little over two years later the shop is known for its specialty-flavored bagels and attracts hundreds of locals every day.
“There’s a crowd here every morning,” said Raied, noting that local police officers, EMS workers and construction workers are among the many locals who frequent the store on a regular basis.
They line up to get Arabica coffee, muffins and of course the bagels.
The plain, French Toast flavored, and cinnamon raisin are among some of the most popular for their unique flavors.
“People say our French Toast bagels are to die for, which are made with honey and soaked in butter,” Raied said, noting that each bagel is hand-rolled and baked every morning using their specialty recipe.
“And in our cinnamon raisin bagels, you can see the swirls of cinnamon,” he said.
When it comes to the holidays, Totowa Bagels does something special too. The plain-flavored bagels are made with organic food coloring in different colors, representing each holiday. For St. Patrick’s Day, the store will be selling green bagels. For Halloween, the bagels are orange. On Valentine’s Day, they are red. And for Christmas, they are red and green.
Year-round, customers can buy value packs where they buy 12 bagels and get four for free or they can buy 6 bagels and get two for free. Bagels are sold individually and by the dozen for $11.40.
At the end of each day, no bagels go to waste.
Totowa Bagels donates any leftover bagels from the day to Little Sisters of the Poor, which is part of St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly. The Little Sisters assist residents who live at the home, which is in Totowa, with everyday living needs.
“Every day the residents have bagels to eat. It’s really nice for them,” said Carron Edwards, 57.
Edwards delivers the bagels from Totowa Bagels to St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly.
Local performer Uncle Floyd does shows three to four times a week at Totowa Bagels.
In the future, Raied said he hopes to continue building a strong customer base and making great-quality bagels. He hopes his children Husam, 6, Jalal, 4, and Norah, 2, will grow to enjoy the bagel business as well, just like how he took after his uncle and cousin.
Totowa Bagels is located at 159 Union Boulevard, Totowa, NJ 07512. Phone: 973-925-4008.