Haberdasher Norman Vosko left his native Montreal for the Philly area in 1977.
During his frequent trips back, he'd buy up dozens of the hometown specialty - sweet-crusted, wood-oven bagels - and come home with enough to last him 'til his next trip north.
That shuttle has stopped.
Last month, Vosko - who recently sold his Hugo Boss stores - opened Mount Royal Bagel Company in Marlton Crossing Shopping Center (101 Route 73 South, 856-334-8108).
This was not a sudden move, said Vosko, 62. For about two years, he and his baker have been studying the art of Montreal bagel-making, making trips to Toronto to learn the technique. (Though the bagels are native to Montreal's Jewish community, many of the better bakers moved to Ontario in the 1970s during the Quebec sovereignty movement.)
Montreal bagels - as we learned when Spread Bagelry opened near Rittenhouse Square- are hand-rolled, smaller, sweeter and lighter than others. They're boiled in honey-sweetened water before they're baked.
Mount Royal's bagels ($1.50 each, $15 a dozen) are more to Montreal regulation size - 87 to 90 grams - than Spread's, which weigh in at around 130 grams.
Mount Royal - which has a nodding relationship with the Montreal shop of the same name - sells La Colombe coffee and bagel sandwiches with salads and spreads. (Try the egg salad, which is light on the mayo, as they do in Montreal.)
Vosko and partner Andy Cantor - a designer - are open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily now.