Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cream cheese-filled Israel Baseball Bagelgate! Investigation shows IBL founder Larry Baras' greatest "invention" was invented by someone else!

“A filled bagel dough product has a hollow spherical shell filled with cream cheese. The dough is formed into an open ball, which is sealed after insertion of a scoop of cream cheese. The filled ball is steamed to skin outer and inner crusts, then baked to provide a dense crumb. The resulting product is freezable for long shelf-life.”
---Abstract from U.S. Patent #5514395,
“Filled bagel dough product and method,”
awarded to Alvin Burger of Miami, Florida

Larry Baras. Baseball, Baras. Baras, bagels. Bagels, Baras… Any thanks due Boston businessman for bringing the American dream of professional baseball to Israel in the Summer of 2007 have been overshadowed by shouts that he be spanked for messing up and leaving behind a million dollars in debts and an uncertain future like some kind of sporting Max Bialystock. But even after Our Man Elli in Israel's reporting brought down his house of baseball cards, one thing you couldn’t take away from the guy was the fact that he invented something no Jew would have imagined possible: a bagel with a schmear you could eat in the car without having the cream cheese schplutz out and schplat onto your lap.

The Unholey Bagel (such a name!), inspired by the jelly donut and first marketed in 1997 by Larry’s SJR Foods, inspired a dream of another kind: Natalie Blacher’s dream to market through Larry’s innovative blintzlike bagel around the world. To those ends, she says she invested $275,000 in the Unholey dream-- only to wind up suing Larry Baras-- now known as “Boston bagel baron Baras”-- in federal court for securities fraud complaining that he used her money on personal expenses and setting up his big deal league.

And now— oy, the pain!— mega giant conglomerate Kraft Foods comes out with its new substance-filled Bagel-er bagel-like sticks! And with it comes a real pickle: evidence that Larry Baras did not invent the cream cheese-filled bagel after all.

A story posted yesterday on the blogsite So Good (“an absurd look at the world of food”) contends:

“…The ‘Unholey Bagel’… was released by SJR foods in 1997. Larry Baras is credited as the inventor by some sources.

"However, A U.S. Patent for the idea of a cream cheese filled bagel was issued on May 7, 1996 to a man named Alvin Burger. It is unclear what Burger’s involvement with the ‘Unholey Bagel’ is, but he was working to patent the idea around the same time, after he lost the rights to a product he invented called the ‘Bagel Ball’ while he was the owner of Roasters & Toasters.

“Alvin Burger holds a U.S. patent not just for the idea of a bagel pre-filled with cream cheese, but for the boiling process, steaming process and forming process involved in making it. He is also credited with founding Al’s Famous Filled Bagels, and for creating Bagel sticks and New Orleans style bagel sticks.”

And looking back, our team finds a trail of factoids and obvious clues that some in the mainstream media and businessworld overlooked. For instance, The Boston Business Journal reported on January 24, 1997:

"One year ago, Larry Baras had a business epiphany.

"'I used to have to eat in the car. So one morning, I went to Dunkin' Donuts for a bagel and cream cheese.

"'As I was driving around, I opened the bag to find an unsliced bagel, a plastic knife that couldn't cut much of anything, a tube of cream cheese and a napkin. So I tried to cope and put the cream cheese on the bagel while I was driving. Eventually, the cream cheese ended up all over my suit and the car upholstery. And then I thought, "There's got to be a better way."

"From that point on, Baras was on a culinary mission: Make the world's first bagels with preinstalled cream cheese and sell them. Lots of them."

A USA Today article from March 5, 1997 that’s posted on Baras’ SJR Foods site reads in part:

"Can you teach an old bagel new tricks?

"Larry Baras thinks so.

"He has created the UnHoley Bagel, which not only has no hole but also comes pre-filled with cream cheese.

"The 44-year-old Boston-based financial planner frequently found himself eating one on the run, which usually meant grabbing a bagel and cream cheese at a convenience store. But he often ended up with more cheese on his tie and the steering wheel than on the bagel.

"`They call it a convenience food, but I knew there had to be a better way.'

"So Baras, riding a boom in the $2.6 million bagel business, worked with a local Boston-area bakery to develop a bagel that could be pumped full of cream cheese after baking."

But midway between those two publications, on February 28, 1997, The South Florida Business Journal came out with an article that made it clear Baras was no (Alexander Graham) Bell of the bagel— though his claim of a brand new thing apparently “rang a bell”:

So Larry Baras didn’t even invent the cream cheese-filled bagel? It was actually invented in the same place where Natalie Blacher lived around the same time Baras claimed to have come up with the bagel brainstorm? Say it ain't so, Schmoe! What’s next? An admission that there won’t be a second season of the IBL?

Hey, how about a Broadway show?


Anonymous said...

Incredible! But Larry did invent the internet. Oops that was Al Gore's invention.

Anonymous said...

Incredible! But Larry did invent the internet. Oops, that was Al Gore's invention.

Anonymous said...

why are you guys even writing this crap?

Anonymous said...

better headline:

boston bagel baron baras's bagel business is bullshit

Anonymous said...

What do you get when you cross Hillary Clinton and Larry Baras?
HilLARRYous bullshit

Anonymous said...

What a ridiculously uninteresting article

Smelly Elli said...

Didn't he also invent Matzoh?? Who has the patent for that? Will Jeff Rosen tale responsibility for lead paint in the toys created-What will be next?

Anonymous said...

Is the bagel business operational?
Or just a website like the IBL?

Anonymous said...

Larry has said its operational and profitable. But just like the IBL he won't provide any financial information.

It sounds like he's made a living (probably a good one) of starting businesses, raising unaccounted for money, and then walking away. Not bad work if you can find it...

Anonymous said...

But how does he look himself in the mirror?
Better yet, how does his wife look at him face to face?

Anonymous said...

Larry has been doing this for years. He really doesn't care about who he hurts and how absolutely shameful his behavior is. A decent man would finally come clean, try to reconcile the finances and work toward a solution. Not Larry. I don't think there is anything that will persuade him to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Will anyone sue him?
Why is everyone afraid?
The vendors don't care about getting some of their money back?