January 10, 2020 by Hilary Jenison
Hingham resident Ellen Landers is set to retire on Friday, January 17th, from her longtime job at Atlantic Bagel and Coffee Company, known to us locals as just “The Bagel Shop.” For nearly 20 years, Ellen has opened the shop beginning her day at 3:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to start the coffee and bake her delicious breads and treats that our community has grown to love. However, it’s not just the coffee and carbs that draws people in – it’s Ellen.
While the gossip mill in Hingham may be noticeably slower come January 17th, it’s Ellen’s warm smile, contagious laugh, and sharp memory that will be sorely missed. Ellen has an uncanny ability to not only know your name and your order but also your dog’s name, child’s due date, grandchild’s birthday, etc. She always has your order ready and waiting. Especially, she shared for one of her most loyal customers Christopher who comes in every Wednesday for his weekly Ring-Ding from Ellen.
The Hingham Anchor spoke to Ellen, and she confirmed that “seeing my customers daily is what I’ll miss the most. Without question. My customers have become dear friends, like family.”
And, she’s not exaggerating – from the relationships Ellen has made at The Bagel Shop, she has attended more weddings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, and funerals than she can count. Her customers even welcome her into their homes every Christmas. She has attended Christmas tea for almost 20 years at a longtime customer’s home. Ellen lovingly confirmed that of course, she'll also miss her Bagel Shop partner-in-crime, Ed!
“Ellen knows us all better than we know ourselves!” shared Hingham resident and loyal customer, Gerry Lynch. “It was always a treat to walk in and have her say ‘medium decaf?’ She is always upbeat, always so interested in my grandkids and everybody else’s. The kids all love her as she made them feel special. I’ll miss her upbeat greeting, no matter how early in the morning, and I wish her all the best. I will definitely stay in touch.”
Over twenty years ago, on a Friday afternoon, Ellen ran a quick errand for her then-boss to get some bagels. She chatted with Mike Brazis and Jimmy McCormack (the then manager and original owner of Atlantic Bagel & Coffee Company), and they convinced her to come work for them – she started the next Monday morning. And, the rest is history! She’s been greeting us with coffee, carbs, and a smile ever since.
Being a cash-only shop, customers that are caught off guard in this digital/cashless age often hear Ellen say “don’t worry about it, just come back and pay me when you can.” And, she confirms that they always, always do (even if it’s six months later - a true story)!
“Ellen is a part of what makes Hingham a true ‘hometown,’” shared loyal customer, Sarah Doggert. “She knows all her customers by name and greets each with her infectious pink lipsticked smile and a story to share. She has created her own unique mark with our town’s residents through genuinely getting to know them and their families, and in turn beaming with pride sharing an update on her beloved daughter Jamie. Ellen you will be greatly missed when we walk through that big green screen door. Have fun!”
The one thing Ellen confirms she won’t miss is her “bagel shop sneakers” which never leave the shop. She said she can’t wait to throw them away next Friday. If you’ve ever worked there (as many local students have, myself included back in the day) you know that Everything Bagel smell that just doesn’t go away.
In retirement, Ellen looks forward to spending more time with her boyfriend Dave, her newly married daughter Jamie and her husband Ben, as well as chasing the sun and traveling more. But she’s not going far so if you miss her, you can always find her walking Nantasket Beach on her daily walk.
“Everyone will surely miss Ellen. There is no one more fun to chat with. She truly knows everything that is going on in this town,” shared loyal customer, Joy Foraste. “From CEOs to early morning delivery drivers she talks to everyone. She knows their kids, what’s going on in their lives and always has the latest gossip! It took a while, but I knew I was a Hinghamite when I walked into Atlantic Bagel and Ellen called out my name! She is one of a kind for sure and hopefully we can all take her out for coffee and a bagel now that she has free time!”
Ellen – we are grateful for your service to Hingham for so many years. We will miss your hot coffee, inside scoop, delicious banana chocolate chip bread, but more importantly, your warm smile and friendship. We wish you good health and happiness in your retirement. Hingham will definitely miss seeing you every day!
Don’t forget to stop by the Bagel shop before next Friday (January 17th) to wish Ellen all the best.