Jack and Joseph Chami, two of seven Lebanese siblings, fled from the Civil War in hopes of a better future. With them, their family’s bagel recipe, a recipe handed down from generation to generation. The brothers and their family immigrated to Montreal, Quebec in 1987, and then to Burlington, Ontario in 1991. They loved Montreal’s Eurocentric feel, but what they found In Burlington was a beautiful, quiet town on the shore of Lake Ontario; a place that reminded them of their Mediterranean roots. Both Jack and Joe had a go at their own careers and businesses for a number of years, but it wasn’t until they decided to join efforts, use their family recipe, and start a business together, that “JC’s” was born.
JC’s Hot Bagels’ owners for 27 years: Jack Chami and Joe Chami
JC’s Hot Bagels was officially registered on paper in 1995, and the hard work started with their grand opening, on March 13, 1996.Working 16-hour days and 7 days a week, the brothers didn’t have a clue what to expect. Many people gave them two weeks to close, especially since they were located beside a major, well-established competitor. But with the tremendous help of their family and their own determination, they continued to work hard and move forward.
Jack and Joe’s biggest supporter, their mother
JC’s Hot Bagels in 2022
Against all odds, and with God’s grace, they’ve not only accomplished their dream, but they’ve also captured the hearts (and taste buds) of all those in Burlington and the GTA. Jack and Joe constantly attribute their success to the support of their parents, family, friends, loyal staff, and amazing customers. Come into JC’s at anytime, and you’ll always be greeted with a warm smile and warm bagels.