Kettleman Bagel's new owner may be for sale

Kettleman Bagel's new owner may be for sale

PORTLAND, Ore. - The company that roiled Portland’s boiled bagel community when it bought Kettleman Bagel Co. in late 2011 may itself be on the market.

Nation's Restaurant News reports in its current edition that “(T)he time is right for the parent of the Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel brands, to explore strategic alternatives.”

Jeff O’Neill, CEO of Lakewood, Colo.-based Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. (NASDAQ: BAGL), told NRN that it is considering options that include a sale or merger.

Einstein purchased Kettleman Bagel from founder Jeffrey Wang, a Taiwanese immigrant who funded the startup with investors recruited through Craigslist. The company built a loyal following among bagel purists because it adhered to the traditional step of boiling bagels prior to baking them.

Einstein has since rebranded the former Kettleman locations under the Einstein name.

Willamette Week newspaper dubbed the change “BagelGate” and set out to find a new holder to the Portland bagel crown. In February, it crowned bagels from Spielman Coffee Roasters and Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen as co-owners of the title “Portland’s Best Bagel."

The Portland Business Journal is a news partner with KATU.com