T R A V E L www.muchogusto.co.za Gusto is a Spanish catering business specialising in markets, private events and festivals. At Max Bagels, as at every enterprise Freemantle and Kai are involved with, the quality of the ingredients is crucial. But here, quantity is of equal importance. “The New York-ness of these bagels is as much about how they’re made,” Freemantle explained as he lathered cream cheese onto a poppy seed bagel, “as the generosity of the fillings.” For a company of its size, generosity can be a sticking point – it is easy to quickly increase profit margins by cutting corners, skimping on the extent of the product. But for Freemantle and Kai, generosity is a large part of an attitude that is key to what they do. “You’ve got to dig deep when you do this,” Freemantle said. “For a small business, it’s tough, but it’s worth it. It makes a difference. It fits with what we’re doing, and what we stand for.” When Freemantle finished the cream cheese bagel, he handed it to a customer, who smiled, unravelled the brown paper wrapper and took a large bite. Freemantle smiled too, and then he walked the customer out of the shop. At the door he met Kai, and after a brief chat with an employee, they both turned back towards the kitchen. There were more bagels to be made, they’d been told. And they were only getting started. Max Bagels is a New York-style bagel bar in the centre of Cape Town.
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