How the owner of Baron’s Bagels grew his business in Point Pleasant and The Brick
POINT PLEASANT – From an early age, John Stoll, owner of Baron’s Bagels in Point Pleasantwas not averse to hard work.
As a teenager, he assembled real estate signs for houses that were on the market.
“Back then they had these wooden signs,” Stoll said. “I connected the vertical post to the horizontal post and planted them in the ground. I owned three or four hundred and really enjoyed doing it. I was 17 or 18 at the time and it kept me busy.
“A lot of work went into making the panels and producing a good finished product,” Stoll said. “I had to build them by notching them and bolting them together. I also had to paint them certain colors, depending on the real estate company I was working for at the time. Each company had its own color and I painted one color orange and one yellow. It was a daily operation and I had to travel a lot to set everything up.
After doing this job for three years, Stoll began looking for a bigger payday. At 19, he got a job at Tally’s, a Chrysler/Dodge car dealership in Point Pleasant.
“I started in the body shop sanding cars and doing basic stuff that kids do in that environment,” Stoll said. “From there, I crossed the street and worked in the parts and service department. I felt like a glorified gofer at the time because I wasn’t doing anything special, but it paid my bills and I was content with it for now.
“At some point I quit work and took a year off,” Stoll said. “I finally came back and started, this time, as a car salesman. I worked my way up to sales manager and then general manager. I liked it and it was a challenge. Some of it was natural, but there were also things that I had to learn inside and out, in order to do good, through work. I did this for 27 years.
“I really needed to get back on track”
But Chrysler eventually consolidated smaller dealerships, and Stoll was kicked out of the job and looked for work.
“I was looking for another job, but not by choice,” Stoll said. “I took a year and a half off to pull myself together and recharge my batteries, so to speak. I was actually having a great time hanging out and playing a lot of golf. My wife was instrumental in getting me back to work and encouraging me to find something that would match my skills.
“At that time I had a family, so I really needed to get back on my feet,” Stoll said. “Where I’m from, you work no matter what and do your best. Once back in the fray, I started looking at different businesses, including a liquor store, car washes, a bread route and even a FedEx route.I didn’t have the money for some of these and a lot of these other things weren’t really for me.
That’s when Stoll heard about Baron’s Bagels in Point Pleasant.
“My neighbor told me the owner of Baron’s Bagels was looking to get out of the business and sell it,” Stoll said. “This idea sat dormant for a month because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and wanted to think about it a bit more. I got to the point where I thought I’d give it a shot and so I went after it wholeheartedly.
“I went to talk to the owner,” Stoll said. “He got good vibes from me and thought I was qualified to take on the workload. He knew I was looking to take over the bagel shop and keep it running while he was away. After agreeing on a purchase price, I walked into the store and stayed there for about three weeks, learning the trade. Slowly but surely I got to know the ins and outs of the business and after 12 years the rest is history.
Take over and grow
After taking over Baron’s Bagels in 2010 with his wife Jane, Stoll initially focused on keeping the momentum going and getting everything in place, so he was comfortable running the business his way.
“Even though the business was already pretty well established, I made a few minor changes here and there just because I had a few ideas I wanted to put in place to just improve the quality of the business,” Still said. . “I didn’t have to do much to change the way the business worked, but I did make a few changes that I felt were necessary.
“Since taking over the company, I’ve had great, loyal people working for me,” Stoll said. “Many of our employees have been with us for a long time and it shows their loyalty to the establishment as a whole. They are all dedicated and it has been a positive run so far. My employees are very reliable and they care a lot to establish their dedication to making sure everything works cohesively.”
Of course, none of this works without good bagels.
“We get a lot of positive feedback on our bagels,” Stoll said. “We’ve won awards from different publications and they rave about our store and everything we have to offer. We’ve been very fortunate to have some of the best bagels around and plan to continue to do so. We try to go above and beyond with the service we provide and are proud of all that we have achieved.
“We have 26 different flavors of bagels,” Stoll said. “Some of the most popular bagels include plain, poppy seed, sesame, onion, salt, egg, all, wheat, to name a few. We also have French toast, seasonal pumpkin, spinach, cheddar and jalapeno. The list goes on and on.”
Stoll opened a second store in 2014 in The Brick because he had been so successful with his first store.
“We did so well with our first location that we thought we could open a second one and be just as successful,” he said. “It was a great adventure with both locations and we could ask for better company.”
Stoll hopes his two daughters will take over and run the business after he leaves.
“I have two awesome daughters,” Stoll said. “Only time will tell, because it is a very difficult undertaking. Getting the right help this time around is also difficult because there are so many people who don’t want to work. I have no doubt they’ll pull it off, but we’ll play it by ear for now.
Owner: John Stoll
Pitches: 3003 Route 88, Point Pleasant, and 1743 Route 88, The Brick
Call: 732-892-5556 (nice tip); 732-840-1111 (Brick)
Hours: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily