Have you ever made bagels? I can now proudly say that I have! I recently joined Jen and Kate Lloyd, sisters and co-owners of Rise Bagel Co., to take part in step one of their all-night bagel making endeavor. I have new appreciation for the process after learning all the steps it takes to make these tasty treats. Who knew that something so delicious takes 15 hours to make? Talk about a labor of love.
The locally-made artisan bagels are so good that they’re giving folks incentive to wake up extra early on a Saturday to grab a spot in line at the Fulton Farmers Market and enjoy the glutinous treat. With a dearth of Minnesota-based specialty bagel companies, it’s not uncommon or surprising to see the Lloyds sell out of bagels before the end of the day.
With only a few more open market weekends and a surge of public interest in maintaining their bagel fix, the Lloyds are looking ahead with plans on where they’ll take their company this winter. I asked Jen and Kate about their inspiration, process, and where we can find them in the chillier months ahead:
Jen and Kate Lloyd, co-owners of Rise Bagel Co.
Where did the idea to start Rise come from?
KL: We love bagels, but we were frustrated by the fact that we couldn’t find one we enjoyed in Minneapolis. We wondered why and became inspired. One day we bought ingredients, rolled up our sleeves and started testing recipes. Baking soon became a staple on our weekend agenda. Our goal was to handcraft a bagel that was good enough to satisfy our own cravings while making other “bread heads” happy in the process.
Tell us about the process it takes to make the bagels.
JL: It’s an intensive, time-consuming, labor of love. We begin by mixing four ingredients: flour, salt, water and yeast. The dough is then weighed, shaped by hand and refrigerated overnight. In the morning, they are boiled in barley malt syrup, covered with toppings and baked on wood boards. The entire process takes about 15 hours.
What makes a good bagel?
JL: We like to think a good bagel features a crisp crust, a fluffy textured interior and a solid chew. It should also be dense, flavorful and not too big so that you don’t feel weighed down by it all day.
Any surprise about the popularity of your stand at the Fulton Farmers Market?
KL: We were pleasantly surprised by the number of people who echoed our sentiments, and continue to be surprised by the amount of press we’ve received.
We’re thrilled to have “regulars” and bagel lovers who drive a long way for a fresh dozen. We weren’t at all surprised that East Coasters would be the most opinionated and knowledgeable—and for good reason!
Do you think bagels are set to be the newest baked good trend?
KL: To us, bagels are classic and timeless—not a fad and certainly not trendy. They have been a staple since they were first created in Krakow, Poland. Recipes have been handed down for generations. They really never went away, and we believe they’re here to stay.
What advice do you have for other individuals who aspire to start their own food business?
JL: Start with research. We spent long hours on recipe development. We traveled to the bagel capitals of New York City and Montreal and shadowed a bagel shop in San Francisco. It was necessary to get our feet wet and gave us a good taste for the business. Ask yourself—will you regret it later if you don’t try it now? And most importantly, have fun! Isn’t that the whole point, anyway?
How many more market days do you have left and what’s your plan afterwards for Rise?
KL: We have two weekends left at Fulton Farmers Market this season: Saturday, October 11 and Saturday, October 18. Beginning in November, we will sell from City Food Studio, our commercial kitchen space in South Minneapolis. We will also be partnering with our friends at Dogwood Coffee on pop-up bagel shops. We are also hoping to have a presence at the Kingfield/Fulton Winter Market in 2015. To see our schedule, visit risebagel.com/calendar.
So next Saturday, it’s up and at ‘em! There’s bagels to be had! You’ll find me at the market devouring my favorite flavor, the “Everything” bagel. See you there!
Rise Bagel Co.