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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 17, 2012 4:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was Not for the little people. The next post in this blog is Gonna have some pun tonight. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Corporate America has arrived

The last traces of the great Kettleman Bagel joint at NE 22nd and Broadway are gone:

The Einstein chain has moved in with its inferior product. No doubt they're expecting to ride on the goodwill generated by Kettleman, but it probably won't turn out that way. This outlet wasn't open that long -- its first day was Groundhog Day last year -- and the backlash from the takeover is going to dig into the customer base that it did manage to assemble. The neighborhood needs a good eatery on that corner, but it will be surprising if Einstein is there for a long run.

Comments (11)

Rarely have I been so perplexed by a large corporate move. These guys are big business, with sophisticated brand managers. Buying the brand, then re-branding and changing the product? I don't understand this at all. If they did it for the real estate, they significantly overpaid. What am I missing here?

Jack - Don't make any big bets against Einstein Brothers. Not only do they have deep pockets, but they supply many of the Costco stores with bagels as well. Besides, where is their local "competition"? The garbage Safeway and Fred Meyer attempt to sell as bagels?

Einstein's won't be going out of business, but I'm highly skeptical about how long they'll pay rent for this retail location.

I liken this to McDonald's buying out Burgerville and keeping only the cheeseburger and chicken salad. Do these people just not get it? There wasn't a huge market in Portland for bagels, Kettleman created their own market with their product.

Burgerville has chicken salad?

Einstein's said they were going to keep selling some of Kettleman's real boiled bagels. So when they re-opened the store at NW 23rd/Lovejoy, I gave it a try.

An Everything bagel with no salt on it?
Huh?

Also, it just tasted funny. A little like a giant pretzel maybe? I don't know what they did to it. Just not a good bagel.

Plus they took the kind of acceptable basic decor of Kettlemans and replaced it with hideous FastFood Subway style posters on all the windows and walls.

Just a miserable change. But someone must like it or they wouldn't sell bagels. I think their prices are a little higher even.

The Kettlemans in Raleigh Hills is still alive.

Jack (and everyone else), I hope you'll give Spielman's, on 22nd (or thereabouts) and Division, a try. It is the real deal. Great bagels, nothing complicated or fancy, and good folks running the place. I was bummed when Kettleman's sold, but Spielman's bagels are better than the original Kettleman's. I'm not affiliated with Spielman's in any way...I just love their bagels, and want to see them succeed.

Agree about Spielman's bagels - they are great. Their coffee beans are great too.

Kettleman's in Raleigh Hills will be 'changing over' at the end of the month, according to one of their employees.

I'll vote with my feet. See ya, Einstein.

just in case you wanted to go down memory lane...

http://www.kettlemanbagels.com/


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