SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets here has linked up with Manhattan Bagel Co. for a full-production bagel shop in a new store to open in Lancaster, Pa., in September.
The unit will be the first element seen inside the supermarket's entrance and will be contiguous with its hot food counter.
A full Manhattan Bagel menu, including bagel sandwiches, will be offered and seating nearby will accommodate Manhattan Bagel customers.
This will be the 154-unit chain's first relationship with Manhattan Bagel Co., Eatontown, N.J., and the two companies are exploring the possibility of more in-store sites in Pennsylvania and Maryland, officials at Manhattan Bagel said.
The 700-square-foot Manhattan Bagel unit in the from-the-ground-up Weis Market will be a full-production operation, with boiling and baking in full view.
As SN reported in its August 10 issue, Manhattan Bagel -- which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last November -- will be acquired by New World Coffee & Bagels, Inc., New York.
Manhattan Bagel and New World Coffee & Bagels will retain their separate identities, and the acquisition will not affect Manhattan Bagel's relationship with supermarkets, said Rocco Fiorentino, Manhattan Bagel's vice president, business development.
In the future, such in-store Manhattan Bagel locations will include fresh roasted New World Coffee and both brands will be promoted, he said.
Officials at New World said they're looking at the acquisition as an opportunity to do more business with supermarkets.
"Manhattan Bagel has a very successful supermarket program and we'd like to leverage off that. They're doing a very good job in supermarkets," said Ramin Kamfar, New World's chief executive officer and president.
New World Coffee & Bagels, which operates or franchises a total of 43 units, currently has just one supermarket location, in a ShopRite unit in Oakland, N.J.
Fiorentino will continue to spearhead the effort to locate Manhattan Bagel operations within supermarkets, Kamfar said.
In the 55,000-square-foot Weis store, the Manhattan Bagel unit will be franchised by Bird-in-Hand Corp., Lancaster, Pa. As it does in other supermarkets, Manhattan Bagel will operate under a lease agreement.
Fiorentino pointed out that the new relationship with Weis Markets is indicative of the company's growing involvement with the supermarket industry.
Manhattan Bagel has full-bake operations -- the most recent opened last month -- inside four units of Kulpsville, Pa.-based Clemens Markets, and a branded case in another. The company's in-store operations also include three units of D&W Food Centers, Grand Rapids, Mich., and a Super Foodtown, Manalapan, N.J.
The company franchises, leases or operates more than 310 stores, most of them freestanding, in 18 states and in Washington, D.C.