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Meet Nick Schreiber of Belle’s Bagels in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Schreiber.

Nick, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Back in 2012, my now business partner and I were deep in a discussion about how there was a serious lack of stellar bagels in LA. So, I started making them out of our apartment primarily for our own enjoyment. Then, we started having these little brunches for our friends. 10 people turned into 25, 25 to 50, 50 to 200 and that’s when it hit us that we might actually be on to something. After that, we did a pop-up out of a Panaderia in Highland Park called: La Perla for about 6 months. It was one of the best/strangest experiences of my life but cohabitating a bakery is not the easiest thing to do. So, after we parted ways with La Perla we knew we wanted to take a baby step toward our inevitable future, a brick, and mortar. So, we approached the recently opened “The Hi Hat” in Highland Park about using their food service window during the morning to sling bagels and the rest is history.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Oh, it definitely hasn’t been a smooth road and I know this is gonna sound cheesy but I feel like its made me a much stronger person.

The first challenge that I had to face was “knowing I had a good idea”. I know it sounds weird but if you have a good idea then the pressure is entirely on you to make something out of it. I find that to be a little exhilarating and terrifying at the same time and it was something I really struggled with at the get-go.

Also, after we finished our first pop-up at La Perla we had a lot of difficulties figuring out what we were gonna do next. This is an entirely self-funded passion project so we didn’t really have the luxury of just being like “let’s just open up a bagel shop”. It took us months of phone calls, emails, and texts before we found the Hi Hat and realized financially we could make this work. It’s definitely not ideal. The kitchen is cramped. Having to bake in a secondary kitchen and cart them over in the morning is far from ideal. But ya know what, it’s weird, its unconventional, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Belle’s Bagels – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Belle’s specialized in hand-rolled slow fermented bagels. But it’s more than that Belle’s is a bagel shop born out of the memory of what bagels were like when I was growing up. The crispy bubbly crust, a little sweet, a little salty and plenty of toppings. It’s a food memory that I cherish and one that I want to share with anyone I can.

When it comes to the type of food, we make I always like to describe it as “elevated grandma food” or “the food your grandma would make if she had a septum piercing and a bunch of tattoos”. It’s food that you eat and you immediately understand. It also hits you in the feels and evokes those sense memories of the types of food you ate growing up. That’s what we do best and that’s what we love to do.

Aside from our unconventional set-up, I think what sets us apart is that we are just uniquely us. Our food is us. Our vibe is us. The window is just totally us. Or, as I like to put it “LA’s #1 bagel shop in a music venue”.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is whatever you want it to be. Yes, I would love to have a full on brick and mortar. Would that make me feel more successful? Probably a little.

But, the real success for me is having our 80 year old customers tell us this is the best bagel they’ve ever had. Or people coming to our shop to satiate their pregnancy cravings. Or watching little kids eat our bagels. The fact that Belle’s will be a part of their memories or their life or their personal experience is literally the coolest thing in the entire world. That is success to me.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 5043 York Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90042
  • Website: www.bellesbagels.com
  • Phone: 323.208.9408
  • Email: bellesbagels@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @bellesbagels

Image Credit:
Jean Trinh

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