Cream cheese shortage hitting NYC bagel spots hard

Photo credit Getty
By , 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York’s big bagel business is facing a nightmare — not enough cream cheese.

City bagel shops are running low on cream cheese, according to a new report from the New York Times, the latest in supply problems affecting businesses worldwide.

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“This is bad. This is very bad,” the manager of a Pick-a-Bagel location in Manhattan told the Times, saying he only had enough cream cheese to get through the weekend.

Scott Goldshine, the general manager at Zabar’s, said on Friday that he had about 10 days-worth of cream cheese on hand.

“Begging is one of my plans, which I have done, and it’s helped,” Mr. Goldshine said, adding that he had called about eight distributors in recent days. “If anybody’s got it, let them call me.”

Nick Patta of the Upper West Side's Absolute Bagels said its Queens supplier was out of its go-to cream cheese choice for the first time in his decade at the eatery.

Joseph Yemma, the owner of Brooklyn dairy product distributor F&H Dairies, said in three decades, they had never run out of cream cheese, but could face issues soon.

Christopher Pugliese, the owner of Tompkins Square Bagels, said his 800-pound shipment of cream cheese that was supposed to come Friday was delayed. He ended up procuring more, but only after calling a few other spots, and what he did get came in sticks.

According to Kraft Heinz, cream cheese’s recipe dates back to the 1870s in New York and includes lactic acid, pasteurized milk and cream.

Some bagel makers told the outlet that what they get delivered isn’t what you’d find in a grocery store — they get unprocessed product that they use to start their own unique cream cheese creation.

Owners or workers at about 20 shops across the city told the Times they were rushing to find enough cream cheese to keep things going, and have noticed issues with orders for a few weeks.

For the owner of Bagelsmith in Williamsburg, they were prepared to drive to New Jersey to get thousands of pounds of cream cheese on their own.

Unshockingly, some customers said without cream cheese, they probably wouldn’t order a bagel at all.

A Kraft Heinz spokesperson told the outlet that the company was seeing more demand for its products, and had been shipping out more product than in the previous year to meet that.

The shortage in cream cheese also posed a threat to cheesecake making as the holiday season wears on.

“Sunday bagels are sacred,” one bagel spot owner told the Times. “I hate feeling like I’ve let people down.”

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