What would you do if during your first year in business you experienced a flood, a fire, and had a car crash into your building? Some might think the universe was trying to tell them something, but Ben Nerenhausen, owner and chef at Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette, just kept pressing on—and despite their setbacks, Allie Boy’s has still been immensely successful.
What inspired you to get into foodservice?
“As a failed art major, I enjoyed food being the one medium that truly engages all the senses. Allie Boy’s was one of several concepts my wife Staci and I came to Milwaukee with. Once here, it became very apparent to my wife, who’s from NYC, that there were no respectable bagel shops in the city. This kind of steered us in the direction to run with our bagel shop concept. We had wanted to open in March of 2020 but ended up postponing till May of 2020 to modify our operation due to the pandemic.”
What do you love about your business?
“We use an approachable medium (bagels), to share unique and delicious flavors and techniques. We like to bill ourselves as a modern bagel shop and take techniques and disciplines learned during our careers in fine dining to bring our story to Milwaukee. It’s a mash up of our careers working on the East and West coast, combined with Staci’s upbringing in New York, and my upbringing in the Middle East. Our breakfast sandwiches are probably the most popular but coming in a close second would be our house cured lox and house brined and smoked pastrami.”
“The name Allie Boy’s comes directly from my wife’s father, Allan; his nickname was Allie Boy.”
What’s the most interesting thing to happen to your business?
“We must have done something in a previous life because during our first year we experienced pretty much all of the plagues that can befell a new restaurant. We had a flood, a fire, a car crashed into our building, we had a COVID scare. Pretty much anything that could go wrong did. Yet through it all, our customers remained loyal, patient, and showed up in droves to support us. We’ve had lots of growing pains but it’s a joy to see the same people coming back and back.”
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
“As mentioned, yes, we had quite a first year regarding calamities…but each one forces us to close, gather ourselves, reassess our desire and commitment and push forward stronger each time. We’ve had a very supportive staff and community and of course, having good insurance helps as well. 😊”
Which Cambro products help make your business work?
Links for Allie Boy’s
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER AT CAMBRO.
Categories: Cambro Featured Business of the Week