Humble Bagel Fills a Hole in the New Orleans Food Scene

09:22 December 05, 2019
By: Graham Andreae

Humble Bagel opened in 2016 to fill a hole in the New Orleans food scene: fresh, fast breakfast food. In fact, according to the founder of the bakery, he learned much of what he did from online tutorials and internet research on baking fundamentals. Humble Bagel primarily uses a boil and bake process that creates that classic crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside they are known for. The boiling, he argues is what makes his bagels stand out from others who only steam their bagels once in the oven. (Humble Bagel also makes their own cream cheese per the in house recipe.)

Though originally intended as a pizzeria, founder Casey Mackintosh, discovered there was more of a market for bagels. After months of trial and error Mackintosh arrived at the process he uses now for Humble Bagel, but he only makes a select number every day.

While this may come as a sadness to those who feel like they're missing out, Mackintosh said, "Basically we want people to understand that we are an artisanal product and we bake for a certain amount of business per day based on last year and last week sales trends."

However, the bakery had deeper roots than just pragmatism: both Casey and his wife Tara fell in love with bagels growing up. For Casey it was Main Street Bagel, which was run by a husband and wife duo. The bagel bakery has limited hours and limited runs of bagels, but the founder argues that they like the business they have right now.

"We wanted to do a lunch menu, with deli meats and salads. However, the owner of Breads on Oak gave us great advice when we were starting out. He said to start small and expand. If you start too big and try to scale back it looks bad. Well we started small and stayed small," Mackintosh said of the company's business model. The bakery is open Thursday through Monday from 7 am to 1 pm or until they sell out.

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