Save the Bagel
What do shops do at the end of the day?
by Sally Mitani
From the August, 2017 issue
Rudi Bachmann stopped at Bruegger's Bagels on South Main at Woodland Plaza a few months ago to pick up something for dinner. With closing time imminent, he casually asked what they were about to do with those leftover bagels. On a typical day, he learned, Bruegger's throws out seventy-five to 100 bagels.
He says the worker on duty told him that "they used to have a church to pick them up," but that arrangement had fallen through and they "were having trouble finding someone else" to take them.
When the Observer followed up, a worker confirmed that the staff does indeed throw out bagels at the end of the day--and they don't want to. Because the store was in the middle of hiring a new manager, she passed on the name of district manager Nina Lemke. Lemke didn't return our calls and emails, but Bruegger's, if you're reading this, here are a few ideas.
Kelly Gillespie, manager at Barry Bagels in Westgate, says: "Well, one thing is we let our employees take home
bagels. We make bagel chips, and we donate the rest to a local pig farm."
At MD Bagel Fragel, manager Joe Pollock says, "A lot of time we bake the right amount and just have one or two dozen left over, and if we do, an employee will take them home. If we have more than that, Food Gatherers comes and gets them,"
Happily, no employee of any of the places ever said, "We just sell them the next day."
from Calls & letters, October 2017
After reading that Bruegger's was throwing out unsold bagels at closing time (Up Front, August), a resident of Lurie Terrance "came to us and said 'You've got to get hold of Bruegger's!,'" says Shari Pettit, president of the Lurie Terrace Residents Council. The council took heed and quickly made arrangements to pick up bagels at the Brueggers's on S. Main every Friday. Typically, says Pettit, the haul is about "three great big shopping bags, all flavors. And they're gone in a blink. Lurie Terrace doesn't serve meals on weekends, and some of the residents are pretty strapped for money, so it serves a need." She complimented the Bruegger's staff for being "so nice and so accommodating."
Bruegger's employee Samira Brewer says they're still throwing out bagels on other days and are looking for solutions. "If anyone needs bagels donated, they should call ahead and we'll work with them."
[Originally published in August, 2017.]
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