This week’s Her Campus Celebrity is someone everyone should be familiar with, Gary Franks, the co-owner and manager of Bagel & Deli. Odds are if you are a Miami student, Gary has served you in the wee hours of 90s night or after Beat the Clock. And if for some reason he hasn’t — stop what you’re doing right now and go!
Since 1975, B&D has been offering Oxford over 90 bagel combinations. Today, Bagel and Deli remains the number one business in Oxford. Her Campus sat down with Gary to get the scoop on the bagels and everything else.
Her Campus: First of all, what’s your favorite bagel? Gary Franks: The most popular is by far the Crunch and Munch. But my personal favorite is the Get Swanked. It has turkey, meatballs, ½ Colby, ½ Swiss, Honey mustard, salt and pepper on a garlic bagel!
HC: How did Bagel and Deli start?GF: Ned Stephenson, the founder, grew up in Oxford. He started as a Miami undergraduate, but didn’t want to finish school. Instead, he poured his time into creating this deli. The bagels began as a sort of side project, but he discovered they were selling really well. He started selling them for 35 cents per bagel, and the customers loved them. He told his father he wanted to continue with his business, but his father wanted him to receive a college degree. After graduating, Ned stuck to his original dream, which evolved into Bagel and Deli.
HC: What started your career at Bagel and Deli?GF: I attended Miami University as an undergraduate, 1990 through 1994, and began working at the deli my junior year. What started as a way of making extra money on the side really evolved into something I love doing. I always enjoyed Oxford and Miami, and became a co-owner of the deli in 1996.
HC: How has it changed since its start in 1975?GF: Actually, not much has changed. Our overall vision has stayed the same, and so has the fast-paced atmosphere. The only key difference is the addition of many more bagels. But for the university’s alumni to come back all the time, to order their old favorites that are still here, that’s a really cool thing. They also love to try the new favorites.
HC: What is the process of adding a new bagel?GF: Anyone is able to bring in a recipe if they want; we get suggestions all the time! We put them up if we like them, and then if they sell we can keep them. But we’re running out of wall space!
HC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen during a shift?GF: It changes every night. We’ve had more fights than I can count, but most of the customers just want to come in, order a bagel and chat because that is the environment we offer. I don’t mind working late nights because I love the atmosphere of Oxford. Mostly the customers are just entertainment for our staff, and it comes along with the job. Last weekend we had someone arrested for peeing on the floor, though. And our door is constantly getting broken.
HC: What would surprise people about this late night eatery?GF: People think of Bagel and Deli as a kind of hole-in the-wall place, which isn’t necessarily true. We really do work to provide our customers with quality, fresh meats and cheeses, and we find that’s the reason they keep coming back. I eat here at least once every shift I have, and all of our staff comes in to eat even when they aren’t working, which I think speaks for itself about the quality of the bagels.