Bagels Have Not Gone Extinct in Boston

By Amelia Schwartz | Will Blunt


Amelia Schwartz
Will Blunt
Baker Mary Ting Hyatt of Bagelsaurus
Baker Mary Ting Hyatt of Bagelsaurus

At Bagelsaurus in Cambridge, owner and baker Mary Ting Hyatt is still fermenting, shaping, boiling, and baking hundreds of sourdough bagels a day. Though these days, the operation is looking a bit different. 

When the shelter-in-place order was instituted in Boston, Ting Hyatt closed shop. “I thought we were closing for a week, maybe two,” says Ting Hyatt. “I remained hopeful longer than some, but then reality finally set in.” April 1st, Bagelsaurus began doing weekly “stock-your-freezer” sales featuring pre-ordered bagel bundles with a mixed baker’s dozen plus two choices of cream cheese. They sold out in two minutes. The sale increased to twice a week, then thrice, with additional market items available for sale. By the end of May, Bagelsaurus opened daily with its regular (now limited) menu, available only for pre-order and pick-up. Here are the numbers that make Bagelsaurus roar.

2,500: On average, pounds of flour currently used in a week

1,700: On average, bagels sold per weekend day, pre-coronavirus

1,700: Current average of bagels sold per weekday during limited (W/Th/F) operations 

450: Average covers per weekend day, pre-coronavirus 

350: pounds of cream cheese currently sold in a week (a notable increase from before the coronavirus, due to bulk orders)

300: Average covers per weekday, pre-coronavirus 

300: Current average covers

123: Dozens of bagels currently sold per weekend day

90: Additional minutes currently required to shape and bake a day’s worth of bagels, due to less staff, social distancing, and other precautions

50: On average, pounds of all salmon currently sold in a week

30: Age, in years, of sourdough starter

25: On average, pounds of hot smoked salmon currently sold in a week 

24: Hours bagel dough is fermented

17: Staff pre-coronavirus

16: Staff currently 

16: Bagel varieties pre-coronavirus, including pretzel, seeded wheat, black olive, onion, deli rye, cheddar garlic, chocolate-chip pretzel, plus the usual suspects and bialys

15: Dozens of bagels currently sold per weekday

9: Open hours per day, pre-coronavirus

7: Open hours per day, currently (reduced in order to devote more time to prepping and cleaning) 

7: Sandwich varieties, pre-coronavirus 

6: Current number of bagel varieties—plain, everything, sea salt, sesame, cinnamon raisin, onion now

5: Flavors of cream cheese available—plain, scallion, honey rosemary, veggie, spicy pepper

5: Sandwich varieties currently available (most popular is The Classic Jumbo: fried egg, cheddar, mustard butter)

3: Days it takes to make a batch of bagels

2: Times per day the started is fed

-25: Percent change in sales from pre-coronavirus era to June

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