One can never claim that Geoff Hardman and Dan Herbst do things the conventional way. When they launched the Cleveland Bagel Co.
(216-395-7723, clebagelco.com), they did so around a product that was wholly (or is it holey?) original, a sort of mash-up of styles commonly enjoyed in New York and Montreal. Cleveland Bagels are made with malt, hand-rolled and boiled prior to baking, giving them a satisfyingly chewy texture.
Since launching in 2013, Cleveland Bagel's bagels have been available around town at coffee shops like Phoenix and Pour, and restaurants like Graffiti and Cafe 55. They are produced in the commercial kitchens of Ohio City Pasta, located in, obviously, Ohio City.
What the bagel boys lacked was a retail presence, a place where customers could pop in to pick up a dozen fresh bagels or a simple bagel and a schmear. That retail space will take shape by early spring, says owner Dan Herbst, but it’s anything but typical.
“It’s literally a doorway between a nail shop and the dog shop – a stairwell with the stairs removed,” Herbst explains, adding that the final dimensions will we be a not-so-roomy four by 14 feet.
Located just down the block from the production kitchen, the retail outlet will serve as a small retail presence for the growing foods company. It will also serve as the proverbial (and, perhaps, literal) foot in the door in terms of future growth.
“This will make a nice jumping-off point for us until we get our own official shop and production facility,” Herbst says.
Look for the wee shop, which will be located on the same Hingetown block as Jukebox, this spring.