Emily Winston, founder of Berkeley’s Boichik Bagels, envisions “a bagel empire” in her company’s future.
In less than two years since its opening in 2019, Boichik Bagels is expanding in the Bay Area. Winston is set to open a new location at a large industrial warehouse in North Berkeley to sell and mass produce her bagels, which were deemed the best New York-style bagels by The New York Times in March.
“This would be my commissary kitchen,” Winston said. “We’re going to make the dough. We will be able to make larger batches of dough, roll it out, refrigerate them and then deliver that raw dough to our retail stores.”
While the warehouse is empty now, Winston said she is planning to create space to mass produce both dough and cream cheese. She added that although the space is bigger than what the business needs, she expects to grow into it.
Winston said the new location would also include a patio area for customers to enjoy their bagels, a catering area and an office space for administrative purposes. She said she also hopes to begin selling pastries again, which she previously had to discontinue because of the high demand for bagels at the first Berkeley location.
Winston said despite entering the COVID-19 pandemic only three months after its opening, Boichik Bagels has been performing well as a business. She attributes a significant growth of its sales to the review published by The New York Times.
“The impact was huge,” Winston said. “We had a two-hour line the next day and the line was from our door down to the corner of Alcatraz, down Alcatraz and all the way to the next corner. Though that finally died down, we have a higher level of business now.”
At the same time, Winston also acknowledged the risk of expansion and spreading herself too thin. Ultimately, she said her goal is to meet the high demand for her bagels across the Bay Area.
Along with increasing the number of Boichik Bagels locations, Winston said she hopes to achieve this goal by starting to sell retail products in grocery stores.
“We have demand all over the Bay Area. I’m constantly getting people telling me that they want me to open a store close to where they live,” Winston said. “We’re just going to see what happens.”