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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Utter disaster! Noah's buys Kettleman's Bagels.

It was fun while it lasted. There goes quality. At least we can say we knew it when.

Comments (27)

I have experience with this situation. Here's my crystal ball .... The acquired brand will be allowed to operate semi-autonomously for a while (a year or three), allowing the acquiring brand to milk brand loyalty and profits. As the acquiring employees grudgingly assimilate the acquired brand, they will make inappropriate and negative changes to key brand attributes. All acquired employees with history and experience will be let go over time. The more senior acquiring employees, who have no loyalty to the acquired brand, will figure out how to substantially kill the acquired brand within 5 years, to lessen their workloads (profits be damned) and 'prove' their superiority. But I'm not bitter ...

If Dude could raise capital on Craigslist, why couldn't he advertise his willingness to sell the business on there? Maybe someone who'd care would have stepped up! Rotten news.

They're talking about rebranding the stores immediately. It's over. R.I.P.

Sad news indeed. As a former New Yorker I've never cared much for Kornblatt's or Rose's, but Kettleman's gets it just about right. Noah's isn't the worst corporate quick-lunch chain out there, but they make sandwich rolls, not bagels.

Bake your own.

Unbelievable... I drive past Noah's and then 2x as far again to get to Kettleman. I'll be stocking up the freezer before they start making those sorry round rolls Noah's calls bagels.

You have to boil them.

Noah's is extremely weak, which accounts in part for Kettleman's instant success.

This is Starbucks swallowing Coffee People, all over again. First the brand vanishes, then the product, then the stores. Tragic. Noah's deserves the mistake it's making.

Kettleman knows how to make an authentic bagel. This is a great loss!

I agree with the other sentiments. I too drove across town for these bagels.


Let's hope Kenny & Zukes continues with authentic bagels.

authentic: boiled then baked

Noah's: oven with steam injection

And then the acquiring company will get what they wanted - the 'real' estate (death of the competition).

I feel a little sorry for those who haven't been in Portland long enough to remember Moesler's Bakery on Fourth Ave., just to the right of where the Domino's Pizza place is now (formerly "Henry's Pizzeria") They had the real deal. The bagels, bayalis (sp?), and salt sticks where beyond description. Around the corner was Mrs. Neushin's pickles. Wooden vats of garlic dills out on the sidewalk...

Boiled, then baked.

Sorry about the loss of the bagels, but I have to disagree about something here. Bagels in NYC are shmeared thick with toppings--whatever flavor cream cheese you want, meat, veggies, etc. Kettleman's had a good selection, but their toppings were spread so thin they barely carried the color of the topping, much less any flavor or substance. In that sense, Kettleman's was most definitely NOT an authentic NYC joint. Bagels are just part of the formula.

Noah's can put up all the New York murals it wants. Those still aren't real bagels.


RE: Shmears

In the shops I've been served both thin and thick. Depends on who is making the bagel for you. I've been both satisfied and cheated on various occasions.

Solution: purchase a container of your favorite shmear for application yourself

Also, at least the shmears at Kettlemen's are made with cream cheese. The prepackaged ones at Noah's are the result of some chemical concoction.

Friends don't let friends eat Noah's.

This ruined my %&#$ing night.

Tastebud has Toronto bagels. They are very good.

Oops. Montreal.

I thought of your celebratory mood when a Kettleman opened in your neck of the woods, Jack. After months of site preparation, they opened a location in Raleigh Hills, roughly across the street from the Brady Bunch (New Seasons) perhaps six months ago.

Sad to see it go down so quickly.

Shoot. After reading about them in the paper, I meant to try the bagels. Is it too late to get a true "Kettleman's"?

Wonder Bread bagels do seem to be taking over the market. Hopefully another craft shop will seize the business opportunity and open soon.

We could open a shop and call it Blog Bagels!

Sara Mirk at the Mercury blogged today:

If you remember, yesterday was the WORST NEWS DAY EVER because it was announced that Portland's Kettleman's Bagels is being bought out by squishy bread manufacturer Noah's.

While all the Kettleman's Bagels are being rebranded as either Noah's or Einstein's in coming months, the important question remained: Would they continue selling the same bagels? Or would Kettleman's dump the boiled perfection that's gathered it a local following and switch to stamping holes through salt-covered dinner rolls?

I just got off the phone with retail member Ruth Moore at Kettleman's HQ she says, "The way we make bagels is staying the way it is." So no recipe switch. So no need to go stockpile Kettleman's Bagels in your deep freeze.

For now. The suspicious side of me thinks it's impossible that Noah's would operate stores that don't sell Noah's bagels—even if they have a local following, I think the franchise would want to side with consistency. I think they'll not change the recipe for now, to avoid a full-on customer revolt, but once we've settled into getting bagels from Noah's, they'll transition from the current recipe to the ol' dinner rolls.

In the history of PORTLAND SELL OUTS, I'd have to put Kettleman's at the top. From worst sell-out to least-worst-sell-out, here's my list:
1) Kettleman's Bagels. ARRGGGHHHHH.
2) Tazo Tea, which recently dumped us for the Seattle 'burbs.
3) Stumptown, which got "major investment" from NYC investors.
4) McTarnahan's, which was also sold to Seattle forever ago.
5) Fred Meyer, which was bought by Kroger to create the world's largest grocer!

The entirety of my last post (minus the intro) was supposed to be in italics because it's all Sarah's stuff, not mine. My HTML skills were thwarted by a hard return, it seems. Sorry.

Coffee People. Easily the #1 unwelcome local sellout on my list...

Looks like all you PDXers will just have to head down to Humboldt County, CA to get a non-corporate, boiled then baked bagel. We'll save you a spot on the patio, www.losbagels,com.

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