If you were young in the 1960s or ’70s and like many of us didn’t live around New York City, the first bagel you ever saw and enjoyed was probably a Lender’s.
So it’s with a sense of sadness and nostalgia that we pass along this, from The Associated Press:
“Murray Lender, who helped turn his father’s small Connecticut bakery into a national company that introduced bagels to many Americans for the first time, has died in Florida. He was 81. Lender’s wife, Gillie Lender, tells The Associated Press that her husband died Wednesday at a hospital in Miami from complications from a fall he suffered 10 weeks ago. The couple lived in both Aventura, Fla., and Woodbridge, Conn.”
According to the Lender’s Bagels website, it was in 1955 when “six bagels were put into a plastic bag, and for the first time, packaged bagels were sold in supermarkets.”
Last year, the company says, “more than 750 million bagels passed through our ovens.” Lender’s Bagels was sold to Kraft in 1984.
The New Haven Register reports that city Mayor John DeStefano Jr. “called Lender a ‘philanthropist’ and ‘entrepreneur’ who was a member of a family that was ‘this area’s immigrant story of success and helped shape little cities like New Haven. The Lender family gave America the bagel.”