PORTLAND, Ore. - An uproar is building among bagel-loving Portlanders who are none too happy that most of Kettleman's signature bagels will no longer be made once the name goes away.
If you haven't been following the Kettleman Bagel Company saga, here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed.
Back in November, the popular Portland bagel chain was sold to the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group (they operate bagel restaurants under the Einstein Bros Bagels, Noah's New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagels brands).
At that time, the group announced they would be rebranding all five of the Kettleman locations in Portland. While that was sad news for many loyal customers, folks were a little happy to hear that the plan was to change only the name, not the bagels.
Ah, but now comes the rub - it seems the Einstein group has decided to get rid of all but three of Kettleman's bagel recipes, a move that is creating a bit of angst among Kettleman fans.
A Facebook poll to help the company decide which of Kettleman's bagels to keep has backfired on them. Instead, folks who are very serious about their bagels are posting some angry rants on the company's Facebook page. It's getting a little attention on Twitter as well:
So what does the Einstein group have to say? We contacted them and received the following statement via their public relations folks:
"Our plan is to offer a broad range of bagels, from the Kettleman's boiled kosher recipe to Einstein’s fresh-baked, gourmet topped, and thin versions. We are committed to serving Portlanders, and we look forward to becoming more involved in the community in the coming months." - Jeffrey O'Neill, Chief Executive Officer, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group
Now to those who have never tried a Kettleman bagel perhaps this all seems like a big to do over nothing. But ask anyone who likes their Kettleman's and you might get an earful about it.
We stopped by one of the Kettleman bagel shops in Portland to ask folks what they think about all of this.
"I would be disappointed," one customer, who only wanted to be referred to as Joe, said. "The selection is the second most important reason I come here. The number one reason is they have Stumptown coffee."
"I think that's just the way the world works... it's kind of sad," said customer David White.
So what about you? How do you feel about what Willamette Week is cleverly dubbing BagelGate? Leave a comment below to chime in.