Interview with Sweet Note Bakery – a gluten free bagel bakery
When was the last time you had a bagel? I don’t mean one that resembles bread with a hole in it, but an honest to goodness REAL bagel?!
Well Sweet Note Bakery is taking the gluten free world and turning it upside down with their bagel making. We had the pleasure of chatting with the lovely ladies of Sweet Note Bakery and not only did we come away with a whole new love for bagels, but a real respect for what they are setting out to do.
We spoke at length with Michelle MacDonald, the Founder and CEO of Sweet Note Bakery to hear about her incredible journey both as a businesswoman and as a baker of gluten free foods.
So Michelle, first question, why bagels? They are tough to ‘get it right’ aren’t they?
Well yes, they are! My Grandfather actually has celiac disease, then my sister was diagnosed with it. So it was my grandfather who encouraged me to do the bagels. We were doing scones, but my grandfather kept pushing for the bagels. We looked at the market for it and was blown away that nobody really making gluten free bagels. Good ones at least. But then we found out why…its tough to manufacture them, tough to keep them from being too bread-like or too tough.
We had to keep experimenting to reach a balance and not add too much water because that creates a tougher product.
So do you boil them or what’s the process?
That is a trade secret! But I can tell you that we are not boiling right now. But our process is similar to boiling. We are constantly looking at how we can do it better. We look at shelf stability of the product… what process creates the best tasting bagel. We think we have a pretty good process going right now.
What sets your bagels apart from other gluten free bagels?
Our product is what was missing from the gluten free market. We found that many people just don’t know what is in their food, enzymes, other preservatives, additives; the list goes on and on. Looking at food labels is sometimes a real eye opener as to what we are actually consuming.
So our story is different. Our inspiration is a bagel with a New York style, taste and texture. Those are my grandfather’s orders. Because we are not a huge company, we can adapt easier to meet our customers needs. For example, we are experimenting with replacing some ingredients in our bagels to meet the needs of people trying to avoid gums.
We care, we listen and we can actually change things… thats what sets us apart. That and they taste better than any bagel you’ve ever had!
Do you primarily sell in stores or where can we find your bagels?
We are not a retail location, not right now anyway. We are in stores in 14 states and growing. We add new states all the time. You can purchase our bagels online from our website at http://www.sweetnotebakery.com/
So then how about shipping? What can we expect for shipping time frame?
Ok, the bagels ship frozen, so, to maintain the freshness and quality of our product, we have to be able to get you the bagels within 2 days. We pack them in dry ice and send them either by ground or air, depending on where you’re at.
What do you recommend for preparing the bagels once we get them?
So our bagels do require some prep – we send them to you frozen for a reason. They are not something you can thaw on the countertop.
Here’s what we recommend:
Microwave them, from frozen, for 1 minute.
Then slice your bagel. Pop it into the toaster and toast until your desired doneness.
If you follow these steps – you will be beyond satisfied with the taste and texture.
Are you adding any other items besides bagels?
Not until maybe next year – we are really close to our bagels. Ultimately, we really just want to do one thing and do it well before moving onto to other items.
What do you consider a mission for yourself and your company?
Our mission goes deeper than bagels. We are about empowerment, pushing yourself and pushing the envelope. We want to empower women specifically. Take a chance on yourself and what you envision. And be confident in your decision.
Ultimately, we’d like to create a foundation for women to help them achieve their dreams.
And we want to enjoy the journey of our company. We’ve grown into a 10 person company and we are still growing! It is a real dream come true for us and we are excited to share our creations with you!
One last question… are you adding any more flavors of bagels?
Yes, actually we are! We ran a contest and the new flavor is going to be snickerdoodle!
Michelle and her crew of bakers have a really scrumptious business. We extend our sincere thanks to them, enjoyed the chat and can’t wait to enjoy the new bagel flavor will be.
Thank you for your time Michelle.
Make sure to check out their website to see where you can purchase some of their delicious bagels!