Recently, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Lee and Angie Greenberg, owners of Ize’s Deli and Bagelry for a friendly conversation. Ize’s joined Friends of White Flint last summer as a local White Flint business owner member. We were happy to finally meet them both.
Ize’s Deli and Bagelry has long-standing history here in the White Flint district. Ize’s was originally a Manhattan Bagel franchise for 20 years; the Greenbergs owned the store for 11 of those. About 9 years ago, the Greenbergs decided to go independent from Manhattan Bagel and turn the bagel shop into their own store. They wanted to have a community-focused, family-run deli in the area. They’ve absolutely reached that goal. The first thing you notice when you walk into the deli are all the pictures of frequent customers, which are primarily families, covering the walls. Ize’s has many dedicated customers, which is a sign of a good deli.
Even the origin of the name “Ize” shows you how important family is to the Greenbergs. When trying to pick the perfect name for their deli, they decided to join the initials of the three of their kids together to form the name Ize. In addition, they have had some of the same employees for the past 20 years. Ize’s caters to the needs of the local community with a long-standing tradition to donate 8,000-10,000 bagels a year to various events or organizations in the community. They donate them to post-prom parties at high schools, Montgomery Road Runner Association events such as Pike’s Peak, local school sales, and footballs games at Walter Johnson High School to name a few.
White Flint Redevelopment
White Flint Station Plaza is a good location for Ize’s because of the access for cars to pull up and make a quick stop to pick up a bagel and coffee for the early morning or afternoon drive. Rockville Pike is a high traffic area, with residential space and commercial space that brings a lot of people through. These are positive elements for businesses like Ize’s. Ize’s is geared towards business commuters who either work in White Flint or drive through it to get to work. Accessibility for drivers is essential for Ize’s, which is something Lee highlighted. The Greenbergs are a little worried that the changes coming to White Flint might hurt the type of clientele they typically attract because parking spaces may be less available as the development grows. Also, the increase of traffic while the construction happens may affect the daily routine of many of their customers. They hope it will not affect their business too much, though.
They are excited for the future of the White Flint district. The changes may allow Ize’s to grow or possibly move to new location that could attract more or even a different type of customer. The possibilities are limitless right now, said Lee. They also want to make sure that their loyal customers, however, can still access their business no matter what happens with the redevelopment. The high rises that will have high population density could increase their customer base on the weekends, if there are more people living in White Flint area. The plan to increase the walkability of the White Flint district will cut down on car traffic along with the hope to increase foot traffic, which again could bring a different type of clientele to Ize’s. The shop is right on the route to Metro for many. This is exciting for the Greenbergs and gives them a new potential way to grow their business model.
Bagels, Bagels, and More Bagels
Ize’s serves breakfast and lunch everyday. Stop in to get a delicious bagel sandwich, deli sandwiches, or their delicious challah french toast. Ize’s also has great catering options for both breakfast and lunch for office parties, meetings, or any other occasion you want. They also offer wholesale bagels for hotels, government agencies, and cafeterias and/or other large gatherings. Check out Ize’s for any or all of your breakfast/lunch needs!