Bruegger’s Bagels bakeries get makeover

by Eric Schroeder
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ST. PAUL, MINN. — Bruegger’s Enterprises, Inc., which operates 302 Bruegger’s Bagels bakeries in the fast-casual restaurant segment in North America, opened a new flagship bakery in the St. Paul area on Jan. 22. The company said the bakery set a new direction for its bakery design nationally.

“We are a neighborhood gathering place, and the new prototype is designed to accentuate our bagel tradition while also celebrating new ideas and the creative spark,” said Judy Kadylak, director of marketing for Bruegger’s Bagels.

As part of the new bakery concept, the baking area will take center stage. An open kitchen and plate glass windows allow guests inside and out to watch as bakers make New York-style bagels throughout the day using a traditional kettle and artisan oven. Meanwhile, the interior of the bakery features natural light through large windows, and simple, sleek lines and warm brick juxtaposed with stainless steel accents. A large community table and bar seating replace traditional booths and tables and encourage conversation among guests, Bruegger’s said.

The order flow and menu also have been revamped. The bakery, located in Woodbury, Minn., will offer a new breakfast and lunch menu category with the addition of premium salmon items such as the Hot Smoked Wild Salmon Salad, the Salmon Reuben Sandwich made with pastrami-style salmon, and Nova Over Easy, a breakfast sandwich featuring salmon, egg and cheese. The new bakery also will offer an espresso bar with a full-time barista preparing a variety of specialty coffee drinks.

“Everything in the flagship reflects both our history and our future,” Ms. Kadylak said. “Like our customers, we are modern-day artisans.”

One aspect of the bakery’s design has not been finalized, though. Bruegger’s is holding a contest for artists to submit an abstract, two-dimensional design that will adorn a large, brick feature wall. That space will be filled by the winner of the Bruegger’s Bagels $10,000 Artist Challenge that launched Jan. 22 and continues through March 31. The winning design will be the focal point of the bakery in Woodbury and will be used in select new bakeries nationwide. In addition to bragging rights, the chosen artist will receive a $10,000 cash prize. Contest rules, submission guidelines, entry information and other details are available on the contest tab on the company’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/brueggers.

This is the second comprehensive renovation program to be implemented by Bruegger’s in the past four years. In 2010, the company remodeled 50 bakeries and committed to spend more than $10 million renovating hundreds of bakeries. Those bakeries featured a brick and stone hearth in the bagel display area where guests were able to watch bagels being kettle-boiled and baked in the traditional style.
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