In a growing city, with new restaurants coming and going, we're always happy to celebrate the small, locally owned businesses who've been around for years and continue to produce delicious food. And in this case, bagels!
Balsam Bagels isn't just a day job to owners Roni and Rebecca Malek, it's their passion.
Recently, Roni and Rebecca allowed us to step behind the glass to see where the magic happens. Even though we had each already enjoyed a bagel and coffee, we couldn't help but want to eat another one (or ten) by the time we were done watching the process.
Weighing the ingredients, kneading the dough, forming the dough, letting it proof, and then there's the boil and bake process that gives them that wonderful crunch - we were like kids in a candy store (we love bagels).
This is an every day job for Roni - 7 days a week he measures the ingredients out for all of the varieties they make (more than 20). They've got the wonderful standards: plain, everything, whole wheat, salt, rye, pumpernickel, etc. but then they have french toast, blueberry, sun-dried tomato, chocolate chip and more.
And don't get us started on the local cream cheese from Ontario, NY's Lighthouse Cream Cheese - so many flavors. Balsam Bagels even carries vegan cream cheese and has a few flavor options daily, which is wonderful since all but 2 bagel varieties are also vegan.
Ok, ok, we could go on and on about the bagels (or bagel sandwiches, wraps, coffee, house-made soups, muffins, breads, pastries, salads, carnivore options, vegan and gluten free options - and yes there are gluten free bagels though they are not made in-house), but for now we'll end here and let you enjoy our Balsam video:
Thanks Roni and Rebecca for keeping your dream going over 12 years later and bringing Rochester some GREAT bagels.
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Stefanie is Co-Founder of the Rochesteriat. She may or may not be a regular at Balsam Bagels, because well, the bagels are delicious and the coffee is quite wonderful. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.