Kossar’s is the oldest bialy establishment in North America with recipes that date back to its founding in 1936. But after decades of success, the shop was experiencing challenges. Higher rents. More competition. Different tastes. Decades of neglect. Concerned about the future of Kossar’s, Evan Giniger decided to do something about it — and purchased the shop himself. His goal: reestablish Kossar’s place among the best bagel and bialy shops in New York and bring the rundown physical space and aging brand into the 21st century, without destroying over 80 years of history. The rebrand was so successful that Evan was able to sell to one of the best operators in New York and ensure that the Kossar's legend continues, and even expands to new locations across the city.
UME developed a solution that both embraces Kossar’s long history while at the same time reaches a new generation of New Yorkers. With a bold yet approachable visual identity system and tagline that emphasizes its unique heritage (Where Tradition Is Baked In), Kossar’s was on the rise once again — meeting the needs of both old-timers who have been frequenting the place for decades as well as the next wave of new locals.
From our very first meeting when Jee walked through our dingy space to our long conversations about what Kossar’s stood for, what it meant to people, and what we wanted it to be — the team at UME understood us. They looked at the community we were serving and envisioned who we want to be for the next 100 years. The result was an elegant but genuine brand that most people thought had been around for 80 years.
Had we not come in and rescued this store, it surely would have closed and with it, an important chapter in New York history. Instead we hired UME, preserved the soul of the business and transformed it into a modern viable operation. Our transformation was so successful, that we were able to sell the store to one of the best operators in New York so they could expand Kossar’s across the city.
If you're a visionary looking to build a robust foundation and grow with brand integrity — let's talk.