Meet the women feeding Ipswich's new bagel addiction
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Two Ipswich best friends are helping to feed a newfound craving for bagels after finding a hole in the market.
Close friends Gabrielle Bloomfield and Issy Foster had joked about bagels for years, but after being put on furlough the pair realised their bread-based dream could become a reality.
Little did they know that cooking bagels for friends would soon spiral into a fully-fledged business, stocking their products at local eateries.
Now armed with their trusty delivery bike, the pair are delivering boxes of Bagel Club bagels across the town.
Gabrielle said: "We both worked in a pub together and would always bounce ideas off each other about how to do something new.
"We then had this conversation one day about bagels and how they're made – a few YouTube videos later, we found out how and loved doing it.
"We put a few pictures on our personal Instagrams and got messages from people desperate to try some, and I guess we were left without a choice, to be honest."
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The pair soon found out their hidden talents and were flooded with requests from friends and family for more of their homemade bagels and pretzels.
Soon after, their products were being sold in the Spread Eagle pub, the Green Room cafe and the Suffolk Food Hall.
Gabrielle added: "We started selling them on Instagram and it has just gone absolutely mental.
"At first we were only cooking one day a week, as we both work full-time, but now we're on furlough we're cooking two days a week. The word is spreading so rapidly."
On top of their bagels and pretzels, the pair also sell homemade toppings including roasted jalapeno cream cheese, apple and chilli jam and tahini. They are also offering special Valentine's Day boxes.
"People are really starting to support and value small businesses at the minute because of Covid," Gabrielle added. "We even get people from places as far as Norfolk asking if we could deliver to them.
"We love living here and are aware of what Ipswich has been lacking, I think there are a lot of creative people now wanting to squeeze the best out of Ipswich. It really is a place worth investing.
"The big dream would be to have a bagel cafe, but we're not near that yet. We want to keep things fun, we both love our full-time jobs so it is all about getting the timings right."
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