Franchise Seller Dennis Mason (aka Denis Maason, aka Keith Samuels) and founder Joe Smith provide prospective franchisees with an official-looking prospectus titled “NY Bagel Café Franchise Disclosure Document” that claims that NY Bagel is a fresh new bagel chain that’s grown from 0 – 14 stores with 0 failures. We found evidence of 36 NY Bagel Café stores and have documented the truth about NY Bagel below. Too many individuals and families learn the truth AFTER they’ve invested – and lost – their life savings to Mason & Smith.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Recently, a woman answered a Craig’s List a NY Bagel Café franchise.
The friendly franchise representative Denis Maason (real spelling Dennis Mason) told her that she and her husband could own their own NY Bagel Café franchise for only $17,500 – the company would finance the rest.
The opportunity sounded too good to be true… and it was.
Like most we spoke to who ended up in Mason & Smith’s well-practiced sales pitch, the couple only learned after they lost their money that they had been sold a franchise success story that doesn’t exist… and never did.
(For more on Mason, read DENNIS MASON Franchise Complaints)
Dennis Mason & Joe Smith: Selling the Business Ownership Dream
He sent her an official-looking legal document that said the company had no lawsuits, and that they had grown from zero to 14 locations in the past few years with no closures.
She saw the listings for the 14 stores on the company website, with 6 more coming soon.
So she and her husband met with the nice Dennis Mason and the chain’s founder and President, Joe Smith, signed on the dotted line, and gave them their life savings, $17,500.
Dennis Mason explained that if, for some reason, they couldn’t get financing they would refund their $17,500 in full.
But don’t worry, Mason told them. Financing should be no problem.
The couple was excited for the opportunity to build a better life for their family as NY Bagel Café franchise owners.
Once the check cleared, however, everything changed. The nice people stopped being nice. They gave them a runaround and never got them the financing they had promised.
They put them in touch with Howard Fichman who suggested they finance their investment by having him sign them up for a bunch of high-interest credit cards.
When the lady asked for her $17,500 to be returned, as guaranteed in their franchise agreement, Dennis Mason and Joe Smith turned nasty and threatened legal action.
The woman called an attorney who told her it would cost $20,000 to sue for the $17,500 they paid – with no guarantee of success.
Then the lady came upon UnhappyFranchisee.Com and learned that everything that sales rep and President Dennis Mason had told her were lies – lies they’ve been telling for years and getting away with it.
The couple learned that they were victims of what may be the perfect con.
NY Bagel Café Claims They’ve Had NO Store Closures – We Count 36
The legal-looking but fraudulent NY Bagel Café Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) the woman received contains the same fairy tale Dennis Mason and Joe Smith have told for years – just the dates have been changed.
The document is made to look like the Franchise Disclosure Document required by the FTC and prepared and distributed by all legitimate franchise companies.
However, much of the information in the NY Bagel FDD appears to be blatantly false, and key FTC-required information is missing. The falsehoods and misrepresentations contained in this document were exposed in an investigation by the Maryland Attorney General (read NY BAGEL CAFÉ Franchise Fraud Investigation by MD Attorney General ), but Smith and Mason continue to use the same bogus document from year to year, with few changes.
For example, franchisors are required to provide prospective franchisees with the number of stores they’ve opened and closed in the previous 3 years.
The FDD Dennis Mason has been providing prospective franchisees states that the company had 0 locations in 2011, 2 locations and 0 closures in 2012, 9 locations and 0 closures in 2013, and 14 locations and 0 closures in 2014.
We analyzed an Internet archive of the “Locations” page of the NY Bagel Café website going back to 2007.
NY Bagel Café Claims 0 Closures in 2011. We Count 2.
Two NY Bagel Cafés were taken off the company’s list of locations on its website in 2011:
NJ New Brunswick, 88 Albany St (Deleted June 21, 2011)
NY Washingtonville, 6 Depot Street (845) 496-5546 (Deleted June 21, 2011)
Why do they say that they had no stores in 2011? And no closures?
NY Bagel Café Claims 0 Closures in 2012. We Count 8.
Eight NY Bagel Cafés were taken off the company’s list of locations on its website in 2012:
DE Christiana/Newark, 1111 Churchmans Pl. (deleted from website July 11, 2012; reopened 2013 to close again?)
FL Riviera Beach, 2419 N. Ocean Ave. (561) 841-1941 (deleted from website July 11, 2012; later reopened with new owner)
NJ Livingston, 184 S. Livingston Ave. (973) 992-1440 (deleted from website July 11, 2012)
NJ Roselle, 711 E. First Ave. (908) 245-6444 (deleted from website July 11, 2012)
NJ Waldwick, 30 Franklin Tpke. (201) 857 4680 (deleted from website July 11, 2012)
PA Fairless Hills, 110 Lincoln Highway (215) 486-7685 (deleted from website 5/28/12)
PA Glen Mills 1810 Wilmington Pike Ste 5 19342 (484) 574-8326 (2011/2012 Not on list Franchisee Pierre Sims)
PA West Chester, 849 Paoli Pike 103 Turner Square (610) 692-5111 (deleted from website 5/28/12)
Why do they say that they had no closures in 2012?
NY Bagel Café Claims 0 Closures in 2013. We Count 16.
Sixteen NY Bagel Cafés were taken off the company’s list of locations on its website in 2012:
CO Aurora, 14605 Arapahoe Rd., Unit E (303) 627-3950 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
DE Newark, 2610 Capitol Trail 19711 (302) 733-0700 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
ID Coeur d’Alene, 226 W Ironwood Dr., Suite A8(208) 664-0444 (deleted from website 12/29/13)
NJ Brick, 319 Brick Blvd (732) 903-7595 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
NJ Cherry Hill, 1420 Route 70 East (856) 354-0040 (deleted from website 12/29/13)
NJ Jackson, 341 N County Line Rd (732) 987-6957 (deleted from website 12/29/13)
NJ Newark, 108 Jabez St. (973) 558-5304 (deleted from website 12/29/13)
NJ Rockaway, 176 Route 46 East (862) 209 4550 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
NC Cary, 1377 Kildaire Farm Rd. (919) 535-3677 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
NC Morrisville 3108 Grace Park Dr Grace Park (deleted from website 11/2/13)
NC Wesley Chapel, 6400 Weddington-Monroe Rd Suite G (deleted from website 12/29/13)
PA Lititz, 245 Bloomfield Dr. Suite 100 (717) 560-4700 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
PA Philadelphia, 514 South St. (215) 238-0101 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
TN Franklin, 1109 Davenport Blvd., Suite 100 (615) 628-8981 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
TX El Paso, 1830 Joe Battle, Suite 102 (915) 857-0270 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
WV Huntington, 944 4th Avenue (304) 399-3222 (deleted from website 11/2/13)
Why do they say that they had no closures in 2013?
NY Bagel Café Claims 0 Closures in 2014. We Count 1 Significant Closure.
Amber Robinson’s Tracy, CA NY Bagel Café closed in March, 2014 after just 5 months in business:
CA Tracy (Closed March 2014 after 5 months in business – still listed as open in 2016)
Why do they say that they had no closures in 2014?
In April, 2012, the NY Bagel Café Website Listed 24 Locations. All But 2 Have Closed.
The NY Bagel Café FDD claims that there were no locations open in 2012, only one location open in 2012, and NO closures.
However, we have recovered an archived screenshot of the NY Bagel Café website’s location page from April 23, 2012.
It lists 24 NY Bagel Café locations in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
See how the NY Bagel Cafe Location List appeared on 4/23/12:
[Click on image to enlarge]
We Count 8 More Closed NY Bagel Café Locations, 36 Total
2009 – 1
NY Lagrangeville, 1097 Route 55 (845) 454-5567 (Deleted from website June 6, 2009)
NJ Parsippany, 388 Route 46 West (973) 808-6800 (Deleted from website March 1 2010)
2015 – 2
NJ Middletown, 490 Rt. 35 (732) 747-5104 (closed Summer 2015)
NJ River Vale, 215 Rivervale Road (Closed 1/31/15)
2016 – 4
FL Doral 3887 NW 107th Ave 33172 (Closed 1/16)
TX Spring 8312 Louetta Road Suite C, 77379 (832) 761-0464 (closed 8/16)
VA Vienna 431 Maple Ave West Suite A Vienna, VA (Closed 8/16)
FL Pembroke Pines 10211 Pines Blvd 33026 (Debranded before opening 8/16)
NOTE: We have compiled the lists of locations from public sources and spent many hours trying to make them as accurate as possible. No doubt there are some errors or mistakes; please take it as a general overview subject to corrections. We have contacted Joe Smith, Dennis Mason of NY Bagel Cafe repeatedly asking for input, corrections or clarifications but rarely get a response. Joe Smith has stated that generally what we print is incorrect but ignores our requests for specific corrections. We continue to invite comment or corrections from the company or others in-the-know.
Read Part 1 of this series to see how NY Bagel Café maintains the illusion of 14 open locations on its website, despite the fact that all but 6 have closed.
Have you given money to NY Bagel Cafe, Dennis Mason or Joe Smith and not been able to get financing or open a store? Contact us in confidence at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH NY BAGEL CAFÉ, THE NY BAGEL CAFÉ FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY, JOE SMITH OR DENNIS MASON? PLEASE SHARE YOUR OPINION BELOW or Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com
Read our 5 most important posts on the NY Bagel Café scam:
TAGS: Dennis Mason, Denis Maason, NY Bagel, NY Bagel Café franchise, NY Bagel franchise, NY Bagel Café, NY Bagel Cafe franchise scam, New York Bagel franchise, New York Bagel Cafe, NY Bagel complaints, NY Bagel lawsuits, Joe Smith, Joseph Smith, , unregistered franchises, illegal franchise