Armed with a well-proven bagel recipe, Michael Dizgun and his wife launched their new shop on quaint Cartier Avenue in Pointe-Claire.
Making bagels is a family tradition for Michael Dizgun, whose father and grandfather opened the famous Dizz’s Bagel on Côte-Saint-Luc Road in Montréal, which has been tantalizing the tastebuds of Montréal bagel connoisseurs since 1995.
The idea of opening another bagel shop began to germinate in the minds of Michael and his wife during their daily morning walks in the city where they live. “We really love living in Pointe Claire, and during our neighbourhood strolls, we noticed that something was missing in terms of breakfast foods, so we decided to offer a new option,” he recalls. After many months of hard work, Dizz’s Bagel & Deli finally opened its doors in December 2021.
Finding and retaining employees
Pointe-Claire Village has plenty of coffee shops, so there was no reason to open another similar establishment. The idea was to offer bagels, along with other breakfast and lunch options, in true “delicatessen” style. Michael Dizgun explains: “We weren’t looking to compete with the existing coffee shops. Instead, we wanted to focus on the food – the bagels and sandwiches.”
Being located in a friendly and dynamic environment like Pointe-Claire, where there is such a great community spirit, is definitely a blessing. Michael continues: “We were a little worried when we first opened, because it was the middle of the pandemic and there were numerous restrictions in place, but the clients showed up, and the street has a lot of traffic. We can’t wait to see how things go during our second winter.”
One of the hurdles the business had to overcome was the lack of workers. “It was quite difficult to find the employees we needed, but now we have a solid and reliable team. Success depends on surrounding yourself with excellent resources, but they are not always easy to find…,” he points out.
Michel Dizgun also insists on the necessity of investing in his employees, heeding the advice given to him by numerous entrepreneurs in the restaurant sector. “I believe that it is crucial to give people a reason to want to continue to work with us. To achieve this, we try to create an enjoyable atmosphere and provide them with a welcoming environment. We even celebrate their birthdays!” An even more important element, in his opinion, is that he and his wife, who were working in the finance and marketing sectors respectively, were both looking to take on new professional challenges.
What kind of projects are they looking at in the future? If business continues to grow and the shop stays on its current course over the medium term, he hopes to diversify operations within a year or two and offer catering services. It would be a new adventure for this dynamic entrepreneur, who is extremely enthusiastic about the idea of unearthing new opportunities
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