There wouldn’t be much of a point writing about Detroit Institute of Bagels if it was a regular bagel factory. In fact, it turns out to be much more.
If you are thinking of a master plan for your next business, it might not be that obvious to think about donuts. Thing is, you’re probably not Dan and Ben Newman. The brothers, with backgrounds in urban planning and business, locked eyes on this breakfast favourite and foresaw its potential. The angle? Opening the DIB – also known as the Detroit Institute of Bagels – with maybe the simplest business plan of all: Bagels for the people.
The Newman brothers started out in their small apartment kitchen, making their boiled and baked recipes. In no time the demand skyrocketed, leading them to renovate a 19th century building into a destination for local bagel lovers. Covering the brick walls with art and illustrations, the place was special from the get-go.
Some people would argue that the real work of art lies in the new spin on bagel flavours and shmears that the Institute creates.
The majority of bagel shops usually skip the boiling and focuses on steaming their bagels, in order to save on labor. The Detroit Institute of Bagels chooses not to. For head baker Ben Newman, boiling is important when making his 500-600 bagels a day. The reason for that? It’s essential for the proper texture combination, as is the hole, for an even bake.
The DIB makes six basic varieties on a daily, including the essential “everything” with sesame and poppy seeds, sea salt, minced garlic and fennel. Other types that would run you down some extra dollars, are made in smaller batches and are sold until they run out. These are the bacon cheddar bagel, blueberry ricotta and rosemary/olive oil/sea salt. Hot tip: try the jalepeño cheddar bagel with sriracha lentil spread.
If you are one of those keeping-it-real bagel fanatics, you could also go for one of the shmears — housemade cream cheese mixtures as well as hummus, peanut butter and jam.
It’s always nice to support a local business and even better when they make it easy for you to do so by being so great. A lot of people say that DIB plays a part in the current revitalisation of the city of Detroit.
Corktown –the city’s historical neighbourhood – could not be a better location for the Newman brother’s simple aspiration: to create jobs and give back to the city that they were raised in. Proving it’s not all about the money, DIB regularly donates bagels and hires bagelsmiths, bageltenders and bagelistas to provide ample employment opportunities.
So there is such a thing as a guilt-free bagel, after all.
Telephone: +1 313-444-9342
Address:1236 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
All photos taken from DIB’s official Facebook and Instagram pages