By CHERISH GRIMM
“If it’s not boiled, it’s not a bagel!”
That’s the slogan B&B Bagel is built on.
B&B, short for Boiled and Baked, has been in southern Columbia for the past 10 years.
Owner Brad Newkirk learned how to make the bagels at a training session in New Jersey. B&B was originally a franchise that sent its managers east to learn how to make a traditional New York bagel. In 2005, Newkirk bought the bakery out of its franchise agreement.
Newkirk said that what makes B&B different than other bakeries in Columbia is the bagel preparation, which involves boiling.
“To me a bakery is a place with 50-pound bags of sugar and flour and mixing bowls,” Newkirk said, “it’s not a bunch of pre-made flavored dough that came from the same place. I’m gonna make something, not just cook it.”
B&B puts those giant bags to use, as B&B makes 24 dozen bagels in each batch .
Newkirk said his favorite part about owning his own business is being in charge.
“I’m the boss and that feels good,” he said. “You don’t have to second-guess yourself when you’re the owner/operator. If a mistake gets made you have no one to blame but yourself. But if you have control you feel like that happens less often.”
Newkirk likes to maintain relationships with his regular customers. He jokingly compared the relationship he and his staff have with their regulars to the bond between a troubled man and his bartender.
“Neighborhood is a good way to describe it here,” he said. “If you say something silly we will call you out on it, if you are wearing a terrible outfit you are going to hear about it, but at the same time if you have a loved one pass away or are going through a hard time we will be there for you and do anything we can to help.”
With its location on one of the trickiest parts of Nifong to navigate, Newkirk said the strong sense of neighborhood and community is what keeps his business growing.
“My location is horrible,” Newkirk said. “You can’t see us from the road, it’s hard to get out, but once I get you through that door my staff, our food, our attitude — you can’t help but be hooked.”
124 E. Nifong Blvd. Hours: Monday-Friday 6 a.m.- 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 6 a.m.- 3 p.m.