Mendel Glick: The Master Bagel-Maker

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Mr Mendel Glick.

Born in Poland in 1924 Mr Glick spent six years in concentration camps in Germany during WWII. He was eventually rescued by the US Army and worked in a US Army kitchen after the war where he developed a love of baking and cooking.  In 1946 he meets and marries his wife, Mrs Glick, in Poland. Shortly after his Aunty sends him a message asking him to come to Australia after seeing his name in a newspaper (names of war survivors were published in newspapers worldwide after the war). In 1949 Mr and Mrs Glick and two children immigrate to Australia.  Mr Glick works three jobs and then buys a bakery.

Nine children and about 100 grandchildren later, Mr Glick still works in his Carlisle Street bakery every day. His children have extended the brand and there are now 12 Glick bakeries around Australia. He has never visited any of the other bakeries.

 

 

Q. How long have you been in business in St. Kilda, and how did you open your bakery?

A. Well before I came over to Australia I worked with American soldiers in Germany, and after a while they put me in the kitchen. I learned a lot from that, and I thought: “I wish I had a business of my own like this.” So I got married, saved up the money, moved to Australia in 1949 and then after working a few jobs I bought this business.

 

Q. What year did you start the business?

A. I came to Australia in 1949 and I’ve been in business now for 45 years.

 

Q. Have you always been in the same location?

A. I was at one place for 11 years and then I bought this location in Balaclava.  My children now they have their own bakeries, there’s now 12 Glick’s Bakeries all together.

 

Q. Do you still work in the shops?

A. I only come here, to this one in Carlisle Street. I’ve never been to any of the other bakeries.

 

Q. Do you think you’ll keep working in the Carlisle Street store as you are today?

A. Yes, I work here for 70-75 hours every week. I even eat my breakfast here.

 

Q. How old are you now, if you don’t mind me asking?

A. Nearly ninety.

 

Q. Is there anything you would like to say to your customers?

A. I didn’t really expect this to be so good, and it’s mostly thanks to the Jewish people. My kids helped me a lot too. Never for one minute was this place closed when it was supposed to be open. I’ve never had one day off.

 

Q. Is there anything that you are famous for? I know you make a lot of bagels, are you famous for those?

A. Bagels are the greatest of all the kinds of breads, tiny bagels, large bagels, all of them. And of all the shops, this is the biggest one.

 

Glicks Bakery Balaclava is at 330 Carlisle St, Balaclava.

 

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