What’s in a name? — the birth of a bagelry

First the gender. Then the birth weight. And the third thing everyone wants to know about your new baby: what are you going to call it?

It’s not so different when your baby is a café. A café and bagelry. In the pregnant pause between deciding to open one and finding my first site, the answer to the naming question was certainly uppermost in my own mind.

And today, a surprising number of people ask how I found the answer; how I came up with the name Goodness Gracious Café & Bagelry.

It wasn’t easy … and then it was. At first I was envious that some good names had already been taken. The best example: the popular K Rd eatery Coco’s Cantina had just opened a café next door called Mister Morning. Mister Morning! Perfect! But taken. Your baby human’s name doesn’t have to be a one-off, but your baby café’s name certainly does.

But Mister Morning still held a lesson for me. When I thought about why it appealed, what stood out were the pleasant alliteration and the perfect match between name and function. The morning ritual of your day’s first flat white being made by your favourite barista: Mister Morning (despite the gender bias) said it all. Hospitality evoked in two alliterative words.

So then it became easy. I needed to go no further than my own initials, GGC (how dare you call me self-centred!) to think of G(something) G(something) Café. And, as corny as it sounds, I needed only to sleep on the problem, and to wake one morning at 2am to find ‘Goodness Gracious’ on my brain.

Goodness Gracious would be my Mister Morning. It, too, had memorable alliteration, and it, too, summed up the spirit of hospitality in just two words. And, once I’d Googled it, I knew there was no one else in New Zealand using the name. So I trademarked it. Goodness Gracious Café.

But wait … as they say … there’s more!

There’s ‘… and Bagelry’. Well, that was added once I’d found my first site, in the Auckland suburb of Eden Terrace, and once I’d decided that a small kitchen would best suit preparation of a menu involving: bagels. With more Googling, I learned that ‘bagelry’ was an actual word — if a relatively recently made-up one — and I decided that if it was good enough for New York City it’d be perfect for me!

Given that our menu is antipodean café fare that, for want of a better term has been bagelerized, the name would help our customers identify our offering.

So ‘Goodness Gracious Café & Bagelry’ it was! My baby had a name, one that would distinguish it from all the others in hospitality’s maternity ward. What we’re called is what we are: goodness and graciousness, coffee and bagels.

Now, of course, I have three sites. Three babies. And the best news? Unlike human children, I can call all of mine by the same name!

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Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.