By Sarah Everett
Bagels, by definition, must be boiled and baked.
So says Webster’s New World College Dictionary, and so says Brad Newkirk, owner of B&B Bagel Co., which opened its downtown doors the first weekend in August.
“If it’s not boiled and baked, it’s just a round piece of bread,” said Newkirk.
B&B’s first location is at 124 E. Nifong Blvd. Every morning at about 4 a.m., B&B employees make their bagels like most New York-style bagels are made, by first boiling the dough in water.
Now they’ve brought their boiled and baked goods to 904 Elm St.
“It’s just off Ninth Street,” Newkirk said. “You can see it from the front door of Shakespeare’s.”
Newkirk said he never imagined a downtown B&B. In fact, he never set out to own a bagel shop in the first place. He switched to the breakfast business after working dinner hours at Applebee’s and Garfield’s and not having much time to see his family.
When Chesapeake Bagel Bakery in Nifong Plaza went up for sale, Newkirk became interested in the opportunity. In 2006, the holding company that owned Chesapeake Bagel Bakery and Newkirk’s company mutually parted ways.
“We became B&B Bagel Co. to help promote our authentic bagels,” Newkirk said in an email. B&B stands for boiled and baked.
“However, if you ask my wife, Becky, she will tell you it stands for Becky and Brad,” he said.
The new location is smaller and doesn’t have the kitchen to accommodate the full menu of the Nifong location, but it still sells customer favorites, including eggwiches, pizza bagels and veggie melts.
The new location’s proximity to campus and student apartments downtown is promising to Newkirk in terms of potential customers and employees.
On Aug. 7, rising MU seniors Michaela Thomson and Sarah Pribe stopped in for eggwiches. They live a few blocks away from the bagel shop.
“We pretty much walk everywhere, so if it’s farther away, we don’t really go,” Thomson said.
Building owner Fred DeMarco said the price point and the “grab and go” style of B&B will be appealing to students.
“Grab something and bring it back to your apartment or grab something and go to class,” said DeMarco, who has seen Cold Stone Creamery, I Am Sushi Burrito and others come and go at the location over the last 14 years.
Newkirk does not plan to offer student discounts but said B&B will continue to have an “inexpensive, high-quality” product. A B&B bagel costs 93 cents, according to the menu, $2.18 with cream cheese. A large latte costs $3.33.
“It’s a completely different beast, but we’re really excited,” Newkirk said. “Get ready for the smells of everything bagels baking in the morning.”