The CEO of Holy Bagel stands in a small office taking phone calls, and smiles at the co-owner when he comes by with a visitor. Naomi Dubin's been through the whole development of the company, from painting parties at the original location to taking dozens of calls a day for bagels or catering jobs today. Through it all, she says, it helped build her family. After all, it's not every woman who goes home with the boss every night.
"It's been very exciting to learn and grow together - to build a family and business together," says Dubin, stopping to answer a request from a supplier, or to show two new potential employees what forms to sign.
"There have been momentous occasions - opening new stores," she says with a smile.
Originally from London, from which she made aliya 14 years ago, she and Ari met while they were both working at Bonkers. ("I caught them," says Ari's partner Zev Wernick with a laugh.) "I can also say that my husband has always been my boss. I think that the whole idea is to have a good sense of humor and that way you're able to get through it," she says of the ups and downs of running a business in Israel.
"There were moments, but we pulled through. We're hard workers, all of us. And I have to add that we also work with our kids, and try to be with them as much as possible. The older ones work here on vacations and we're teaching them a good work ethic. Most kids don't see what their parents do all day, and they see it, they live it with us. I think that's something they can't learn in a school environment, and they see here that with hard work you can succeed, and live your dreams." - A.D.C.