Consumers living in Ashland, Ore., have enjoyed the smell of fresh bagels wafting from the Little Shop of Bagels for more than 25 years. Others have gone out of their way just to have a taste or included the bakery on their travel agenda.
“Wake-N-Bagel was born from that long-distance demand,” said Angelina McClean, vice president of Wake-N-Bagel. “Francesca, the owner, wanted to find a way to give our consumers that fresh-out-of-the oven experience no matter how far away they are.”
Wake-N-Bagel is Little Shop of Bagels’ first line sold in specialty and natural foods retailers. The frozen bagels come four in a box and can be thawed in the refrigerator and baked by consumers in their own home ovens. The company currently has three Wake-N-Bagel flavors available — Classic Plain, Hiker (Everything) and Savory Onion — with a suggested retail price from $7.99 to $8.99.
While the bagels are frozen, they are made the traditional way and contain no preservatives but incorporate organic and high-quality ingredients.
“We have never skimped on quality or authenticity, and the same can be said for our frozen line,” Ms. McClean said. “There was certainly a lot of testing and troubleshooting, but once we got it right, we were ecstatic. We developed a specific method to produce our frozen bagels and achieve results up to our high standards.”
Little Shop of Bagels has been producing its Wake-N-Bagel from the original bakery, and Ms. McClean said that has been a challenge due to limited space. With the production increase, the company moved to a larger 1,400-square-foot facility in Medford, Ore., which has proven to require just as much time and effort.
“It has its own challenges — funding, permits, etc. — but things are moving along great, and we are so excited to be up and running in our new dedicated space,” she explained.
In addition to a new facility, the bakery created new websites for Wake-N-Bagel and Little Shop of Bagels. It has also promoted its product and shared updates on Facebook and Instagram accounts.
“The response has been great,” Ms. McClean said. “The product is moving, and we have been receiving emails and phone calls from people who love our new bagels so much that they went out of their way to let us know. That’s when we knew we really had something good here.”
Currently, Wake-N-Bagel can be found across Oregon, but the next step for Little Shop of Bagels is moving the product out to distributors in the western half of the United States. The company exhibited the product at the Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show in January to make more connections with retailers and increase its market reach.
“We have big plans and high hopes for this product,” Ms. McClean noted. “Our bakery has a lot of popular flavors that we would love to expand on with our frozen line. We see Wake-N-Bagel becoming a major brand in the frozen breakfast foods market and the natural foods market.”