Portland local chain sold
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BAGL), a leader in the quick-casual segment of the restaurant industry operating under the Einstein Bros.® Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels®, and Manhattan Bagel® brands, announced today the acquisition of Kettleman Bagel Company, a five-store bagel chain in Portland, Oregon. The acquisition is part of the Einstein Noah’s strategic growth plan aimed at strengthening its competitive position within the Pacific Northwest market. The Company expects to rebrand all five locations into one of its other brands in the future.
Jeff O’Neill, President and Chief Executive Officer of Einstein Noah, stated, “This acquisition fits well within our aggressive growth strategy as we believe there is tremendous opportunity for Einstein Noah in this market. We congratulate Jeffrey Wang on creating a thriving business and look forward to welcoming Kettleman Bagels into the Einstein Noah family, as we pursue our goal of accelerating unit growth through a combination of corporate, franchise, and licensed expansion.”
Jeffrey Wang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kettleman Bagel Company, stated, “I have complete confidence in the Einstein Noah management team and respect their commitment to bring quality, fresh baked and healthy food options to the communities they serve. The Company’s proven success and personable culture made becoming part of Einstein Noah an attractive and easy decision. Now I can retire knowing my company is in good hands.”
About Einstein Noah Restaurant Group
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. is a leading company in the quick casual restaurant industry that operates and licenses locations primarily under the Einstein Bros.® and Noah’s New York Bagels® brands and primarily franchises locations under the Manhattan Bagel® brand. The Company’s retail system consists of more than 750 restaurants in 39 states and the District of Columbia. It also operates a dough production facility. The Company’s stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol BAGL. Visit http://www.einsteinnoah.com for additional information.
So Kettleman’s just becomes five more restaurants in a group of 750. Sigh. The question is can Kenny & Zukes keep up their quality and crank up the production line to take up the slack?
Rachel Schoening says
Sucks. We just got a Kettleman’s here in the Raleigh Hills area. It is (was) a great place to sip Stumptown & eat fantastic bagels.
So sad! :( Love those bagels
Tony P says
ugh. I lived in Salt Lake City when Einstein’s bought the only good bagel shop in town. I’m fairly certain that the boiled bagels will go away when the transition happens. Why buy a company when you are going to destroy the brand and the quality of the product? Makes no sense.
Dave N says
I too was in SLC when Einstein’s destroyed Brackman Bros. I lived right around the corner from the 15th and 15th location. I was crushed. This is a nightmare relived (OK, I ‘m being a little dramatic, but it is a huge drag).
Bleech! I hate Noah’s NOT New York Bagels. Kettleman’s actually had the only decent bagels in PDX. Sad.
On the other hand: I interviewed (unsuccessfully) a year and half ago for their maketing manager position. I was later stunned to learn that they did hire someone for the position, because I didn’t see much (ANY) marketing or PR going on. Website, collateral, etc all the same. If anything LESS press coverage.
I now wonder if that person’s job wasn’t to get the attention of getting them bought out. Many smaller companies exist purely to be purchased.
What a revoltin’ development. I was at Kettleman’s on SE 11th on Tuesday, the day the employees apparently got the news. I ordered my usual baker’s dozen; when I got home, I discovered 3 extra bagels, i.e. 16 total. Chalked it up to random Portland awesomeness, but now I’m thinking it might’ve been the counterperson’s FU to the buyout.
Nothing I’ve read says anything about preserving Kettleman’s as a boutique bagel line, or guaranteeing jobs to current employees. I hope I’ve missed something.
So damn sad.
Since Noah’s/Einstein will probably close some locations (the demand for sh**y bagels in PDX can’t be that great), maybe some enterprising folks can take over an ex-Kettlemann’s, or at least salvage equipment that is no longer needed, and start their own authentic bagel company?
Tommy Schopp says
“This acquisition fits well within our aggressive growth strategy as we believe there is tremendous opportunity for Einstein Noah in this market.”
I’d say this just about says it all where the Noah’s/Einstein approach is concerned; acquisition, aggressive and strategy being some key words. Kettleman’s told the Mercury that the recipe won’t be changing, but I find that claim nothing short of absurd. Restaurant chains are built on uniformity and economies of scale. They’ll rebrand the stores, give customers a few months to get used to that, then phase out the Kettleman’s recipe with their own.
Fortunately for those of us in NE, there’s an alternative in Bagel Land, up in Beaumont. Don’t mean to shill for ’em or anything here, but it’s a good little shop, folks up that way might want to give ’em a try.
meh – I’m not that broken up over it. I like the fact that Kettleman’s is local, but I’ve never really thought their bagels were all that great . . . if they made amazing bagels, I might be bummed, but I think they’re pretty comparable to Noah’s.
They aren’t the greatest in the world, but to actually compare them to Noah’s makes me question your sanity, or at least your understanding of what a bagel is.
I will confess to not having great skill at distinguishing between subtle levels of mediocrity.
People that can’t tell the difference between a real boiled bagel should have no problem switching to what Noah’s sells.