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Bagel Artist is located at 607 Rothesay Ave. Image: Contributed

Saint John’s New Bagel Shop An Upgrade From Its Market Roots

By Jessica Saulnier Nov 19, 2022 | 2:00 PM

Marcela Torres started making bagels as a hobby after she moved from Toronto to New Brunswick, where she had more kitchen space. At the same time, she was actively looking for a job.

Once she started baking, she wondered if people would enjoy freshly made bagels. That led her to start selling at the Queen Square Farmers Market this summer under the name Bagel Artist. Torres said every Sunday she would show up at the market with around 140 bagels and sell out within the first two hours.

“Even the first day, I wasn’t sure if people would like it, and all of the sudden they just bought them,” she said.

After spending the summer at the market, she has now opened a storefront location at 607 Rothesay Ave. Torres took about six months to find Bagel Artsits’ new home, learn all the health and safety regulations, and get the required certificates.

She does not have any employees other than herself. She said she is the founder, owner, chef, accountant, and everything else that needs to be done.

While selling on the weekends at the Queens Square Farmers Market, she would also do special orders with unique flavours that customers requested.

To have the bagels as fresh as possible at the market, Torres would get up at 2:30 a.m. to cook them all before heading to the market for the day. At her new shop, they are also baked every day.

Torres likes to do special flavours and right now she has a cranberry bagel. She also sells a variety of flavoured cream cheeses and has a rosemary garlic and cranberry cream cheese on special. She plans to introduce different flavours every other week.  She also uses bagels to make sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.

She said she was always good at baking but never considered it a job.

Torres is originally from Argentina but lived in Toronto for the last couple of years. She and her husband moved to New Brunswick just over a year ago.

When Torres was looking for a job, she found it hard to find something, so that’s when she started at the market.

“I just thought that maybe I’ll give it a try to have a small business location that I could manage myself,” she said.

Her goals for the future include growing her business, having people help make the bagels so she can create more flavours and possibly opening another store.

“I like of idea of helping and employing other people too because I know sometimes it’s hard to find a job, so I would like to do that,” said Torres.

Jessica Saulnier is an intern for Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


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