My favorite bagel in the Twin Cities has been, for many years and without a near rival in sight, the everything bagel from the tiny Roseville shop St. Paul Bagelry. If you’ve never had it, that bagel is a wonder: Soft, pliant, chewy, a little sweet, very thick and tender. As birthday cakes are to cakes, St. Paul Bagelry bagels are to other bagels—they’re just better. But of course, hauling to Roseville is not always convenient for me. Well happy days are coming, bagel lovers! The shop is opening a new Minneapolis outpost of the St. Paul Bagelry this spring at 5426 Nicollet Avenue South, near Diamond Lake Road in the new Zest apartment tower.
“When we started, we were making 250 bagels a day,” co-owner Peggy Teed told me. “Today we’re averaging over 4,000 a day, in the same space. It’s like everybody is working on top of each other right now. It was time to grow.” Teed and her sister, Dodie Green, bought the shop in 2007 (it was founded by Pizza Nea star Mike Sherwood, but went through several owners in the interim). In the decade Teed and Green have owned it, they’ve been growing because of their association with the local distributor Co-Op Partners, which has allowed them to send their bagels to Duluth, Mankato, Viroqua, Menomonie—all over the region.
“I say our bagels travel more than I do,” Teed told me. “They get everywhere.” The new Minneapolis location will allow even further growth, as they currently have a waitlist of more stores that want St. Paul Bagelry bagels. Yes, even in these gluten-free years. “Seems there are enough of us bagel lovers that [gluten-free eating] hasn’t set anything back for us at all,” Teed told me. “Every now and then someone will ask: Do you have anything gluten-free? I think we have one cookie—but we can’t even say it’s gluten-free, this store is just permeated in gluten. It’s in the air. Gluten-free is just not what we do.” What they do do: Make bagels from scratch, daily. “People come in and they’ll say, 'Why do you have all of those bags of flour?' I don’t know what they expect, people tell us other bagel shops get their bagels frozen, but I wouldn’t know anything about that.” Also, notes Teed, bagel-unfreezers are missing out on a lot of good smells and amusement—“The bagel machine is just fun to watch.”
And soon you’ll be able to watch one in Minneapolis! The new location will have hot bagels, sandwiches, and Dogwood Coffee, and will tentatively keep hours of 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bagel wholesale production will now split, with St. Paul and east-metro bagels coming out of Roseville, and Minneapolis and west-metro bagels coming out of Minneapolis. Which of course brings us to the ugly issue of sibling rivalry—not between these bagel-making sisters, but between these twin towns. “Someone asked us—'St. Paul Bagelry, in Minneapolis? Are you going to change it?' We said, ‘Whoa. We never thought about it.’ It took about a New York minute to decide—it’s our name. We’re keeping it. They’ll love us once they smell the bagels. It will be just fine.”
I think that's right. So let's give a big hearty welcome and start planning brunch runs, Minneapolis. It's gonna be a good chewy spring.