The Foodist wrote about Boichik Bagels in January, when Winston first announced a West Berkeley bagel plant and upcoming retail location in Palo Alto's Town & Country Village, which is set to open this fall. She's now raising capital from local residents through two different mechanisms: "Bagel Bucks," gift cards offered at a discounted price ("bagel futures," in Winston's words), and a $1 million bond offering conducted on SMBX, a crowdfunding site that pays interest to backers and has hosted campaigns from other Bay Area food businesses, including Poppy Bagels and Pyro's Pastrami. Bagel Bucks can be purchased in increments of up to $3,500, and the SMBX campaign has already raised over $200,000 after beginning on June 23.
Relying on community support means that Winston can maintain control of her small business.
Most of the funds from the Bagel Bucks and the bond offering will support the construction of Boichik's West Berkeley bagel plant, an approximately $5 million project that will produce the raw dough for each retail store (the dough will then be boiled and baked at each location) and for bake-and-freeze bagels intended for wholesale (the frozen bagels are already available at limited locations including Bianchini's Market and Piazza's Fine Foods.) According to Winston, producing the dough is a technical endeavor that lends itself well to automation.
About half a million dollars will be spent on refrigeration, as Winston believes that if bagels can't be enjoyed fresh, they are at their best frozen and reheated. That's why she's selling frozen bagels at grocery stores. "I can't stand bagels sitting in plastic bags at room temperature. It makes me twitch," she said.
The factory also will serve bagels onsite. Winston hopes that guests will be enthralled by the automated assembly line that will form up to 12,000 bagels an hour and resemble the open kitchens at Krispy Kreme.
Winston begin baking bagels in her home 10 years ago. Her house turned into a destination for East Coast transplants and anyone craving the taste of a New York bagel until she opened her first storefront in Berkeley in 2019.
Winston, who initially started out baking just a few bagels each day, said she appreciates the overwhelming support that has allowed her business to grow.
"It definitely is daunting, but it just feels like everything has fallen into place." Winston said.
Regarding the Town & Country location, Winston is now aiming for a September opening due to permitting delays.
Boichik Bagels (opening in September), 855 El Camino Real, Suite 115, Palo Alto; Instagram: @boichikbagels.
This story contains 470 words.
Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.
If you are already a member, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Membership start at $12 per month and may be cancelled at any time.