As any baker knows, water plays a critical role in dough development. Yeast doughs made with hard water can turn out too strong and elastic. On the flip side, using soft water can lead to doughs that are too sticky. Depending on your desired results, the outcome of using too hard or too soft water can be disastrous. The goal is often too find a happy medium, depending, of course, on the specific bakery product being made.

At Brooklyn Water Bagel Co., the emphasis on “Brooklynized™ water” as its secret ingredient continues to play a positive role in the modest growth of this 5-year-old bagel chain that now operates 16 locations in five states.

Based in Boca Raton, FL, a favorite South Florida destination for many New Yorkers who grew up on bagels, Brooklyn Water Bagel features a proprietary system called Brooklyn Water Works in every store. Operating In full view of customers, this unique water system features a replica-style water storage tower, piping, valves and filters that all work to treat any time of tap water and “Brooklynize” it. The exact process remains a secret.
The company boasts that its Brooklynized water is used in every recipe, beverage, ice cube and kettle used to boil bagels in each restaurant. Brooklyn natives swear by their water, which flows from the Catskills, and Brooklyn bagel shops have long been regarded as producing some of the best bagels in the world.

Brooklyn Water Bagel is attempting to recreate the magic, as it expands throughout the country in key growth states like Florida and California.

“During recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that bagels are no longer just an ethnic specialty. Our freshly baked bagels at Brooklyn Water Bagel are becoming a staple across college campuses and neighborhoods around the country, proving that they have a more universal appeal,” says Steve Fassberg, CEO of Brooklyn Water Bagel. “We look forward to continuing our mission to Brooklynize the nation this year, as more customers experience the authenticity of our product and understand the importance of our key ingredient, the water.”
Brooklyn Water Bagel will kick off 2014 with a more aggressive expansion plan with the opening of its newest location in Charlotte, NC, which was set to open by the end of January. Additional franchise locations are scheduled to open this year in South Florida in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Lake Mary.

Brooklyn Water Bagel claims that it is revolutionizing the bagel-making process from start to finish by using its proprietary water technology that enables the company to produce authentic New York bagels anywhere in the world. Brooklyn Water Bagel proudly declares simply, “It’s all about the water!”

For its franchise operators, the unique water system is designed to provide limited maintenance operation via satellite monitoring of each location to ensure consistent quality. Brooklyn Water Bagel expects to grow in unit count to 20 restaurants by the end of 2014, based on its controlled growth and steady devotion to consistent quality. As the company points out on its website,, “we do not sell franchises, we award them.”

In addition to freshly baked bagels, the made-to-order menu at Brooklyn Water Bagel includes other New York favorites like 3-egg breakfast sandwiches, over-stuffed bagelwiches, scooper melts, and muffins. Coffee lovers will enjoy the restaurant’s signature Iced Coffee Cubsta, featuring ice cubes made completely out of coffee, as well its coffee stations, equipped with all of the essential tools for customizing the perfect cup of coffee. 

Brooklyn Water Bagel witnessed tremendous growth and success in the past few years. Since launching its first restaurant in 2009, the Florida-based brand is an emerging national player and a leader in the quick-service industry. It operates in five states: California, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, and Massachusetts.