Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bagel Dreams

The WSJ profiles a Japanese computer software programmer who pursued her bagel dreams (subscription required). Miho Inagi apprenticed at a NY bagel shop and opened her own place offering the "real thing" in Tokyo:

"The bagel store was an unexpected career change for Ms. Inagi. After studying computer sciences in college, she joined a software subsidiary of electronics giant Hitachi Ltd., where she hoped she'd be able to hone her programming skills...

But then in December 1998, she was visiting New York with college friends and had her first Ess-a-Bagel -- a plain with raisin-and-walnut cream cheese. She was instantly enamored. "I just didn't think anything like a bagel could taste so good," she said.

A year later, she flew back to New York. Unfazed by her limited English language ability, she persuaded Ms. Wilpon to let her spend a week at Ess-a-Bagel to get a taste of the business...

Determined to learn the trade properly, Ms. Inagi talked her way into an apprenticeship at New York's Ess-a-Bagel. From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., she took orders, cleared trays and swept the floor. On Saturdays and Sundays, the shop's exacting owner, Florence Wilpon, let her make dough. Six months later, when she felt she had the hang of it, Ms. Inagi returned to Japan."

How inspirational! We should follow our dreams!