Phil Klein owner of Bagelsmith at 185 Carlton St talks about how his love for bagels led to the opening of this shop that makes authentic Montreal-style bagels with a modern twist.
How does someone go from working for the Government to opening a bagel shop?
Ask Bagelsmith owner Phil Klein.
“I had always worked in the restaurant industry growing up and sitting at a desk, just, for a reason, it wasn’t, this, wasn’t my forte, just looking for a career change. I’d been thinking about doing something else for a little while while working in government and in all honesty, the whole thing came to fruition with my wife and I sitting on the couch, watching food network. Something regarding bagels came up on and I was like, I should open a bagel shop…and she said, you should open a bagel shop. Then I was like, I should open a bagel shop. Lol”
“I was already looking at trying to start my own business or buy a business that was already in existence. It all just came together from watching the food network. Okay. So why bagels in all honesty? Most of the restaurant entry experience I had growing up was in the pizza industry. I had a lot of experience with dough and I’d been to Montreal with my dad and was smitten by the bagels and the smoke meat because who isn’t when you go there? And to be honest, I just saw a gap in the marketplace. There were no bagel shops here at the time”.
“I didn’t really understand why. It’s such a, it’s such a mundane product and yet, it’s fresh baked bread and everyone loves fresh baked bread and fresh baked bread is just so special. Yet bagels for whatever reason fall into their own category. I just thought it was something that was missing in the marketplace here.”
Their Montreal style bagels are boiled in honey water which gives it a little bit more sweetness with seeds all the way around. They are little bit lighter than their New York style counterparts. They have a larger hole and are a little bit smaller in size and more dense but at the same time are very light crispy. They are hand rolled and baked them a fresh all day, every day.
“We’ve been pumping out thousands and thousands of bagels since we opened our online shop in May 2020 Phil advised. We had to pivot and change our operations dues to Covid restrictions but it’s still been received very well. We’ve been selling a lot of bagels and we’ve been very fortunate. The response from the community has been amazing. All their feedback has been great. Tons of support.”
Since May, when they started online sales, and opened their doors October 21st, they’ve sold over a hundred thousand bagels. Delivering to peoples homes in Winnipeg and wholesale distribution which has also expanded vastly over the last couple of months.
Their flavours include Sesame, which is their most popular by far, everything bagel, poppy and plain. They also offer six smears. Caramelized onion, roasted tomato, garlic Honey dill to name a few.
They also have a couple of really unique sandwiches. The “bento bagel” which is with the Savi schmear, lox green onions, and pickled ginger and cucumber. Their play on a classic lock sandwich with a bit of a sushi flare.
Business hours are 8am-2pm Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.