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January 25, 2014

Main Street eatery makes meals fresh, filling


The Oneonta Bagel Company has implemented a heart-healthy workplace initiative following the criteria of American Heart Association.

“We have heart-healthy meals on the menu and we encourage our employees to take walks, I even have a tread mill in the office that everyone is welcome to use,” Roberts said. “The recommendations include encouraging managers to have meetings while they take walks. We have introduced the fresh fruit smoothies and we have lots of salads. This is something that I have taken a personal interest in.”

Whereas The Oneonta Bagel Company is a not-for-profit organization, it is fiscally self-sustaining. The paid employees earn their wages and the various bills associated with running a restaurant come from food sales. One of those paid employees is Roberts’ daughter, Jennifer Roberts.

“It is great working with my daughter,” Bill Roberts said.

Roberts has a food service background from an early age. His parents owned a restaurant and when Roberts was of age, he opened the Drift Inn in Richfield Springs. Later he managed the Pepper Mill in Cooperstown.

“I graduated from the school of hard knocks,” Bill Roberts said. “These days you need a food service degree to manage a restaurant. I learned by doing it.”

In addition to training clients of Rehabilitation Support Services, Roberts helps several non-profit organizations with food donations.

“Hanford Mills wants soup for 1,000 people again this year,” Bill Roberts said. “Last year we gave them French Onion. I think I might do something different this year.”

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