For two born-and-bred Clevelanders, the city's food scene had a big hole right in the middle of it.
"It was the one thing Cleveland’s missing," said Dan Herbst. "You can get good coffee, you can get good pastries, you couldn’t get a good bagel."
That gap was the driving force behind Herbst and business partner Geoff Hardman launching the Cleveland Bagel Company.
Their goal is to make a definitive Cleveland-style bagel that differs from its competitors in New York and Montreal.
"It should have like a slight crisp on the exterior," explained Hardman. "it should be very chewy, almost to the point your jaw gets tired, and it should be the right size. Bagels today are far too big, so ours are around three ounces."
The group's rooted in the city. The duo began their baking out of Herbst's apartment several years ago.
"We started a business here to make a really good product that’s an affordable product," Herbst explained.
Business grew through a wholesale approach, popping up at local festivals and selling at a handful of coffee shops across the city.
They'll soon open a brick-and-mortar spot in Ohio City.
And the bagels will soon be in the national spotlight. The company is set to appear the upcoming CNBC reality show “Cleveland Hustles” later this month.