(VIDEO) Closure averted: Frankie’s NY Bagels announces new owner, who promises to keep favorite recipes, including vegan donuts | Lost Coast Outpost
PREVIOUSLY: Owner of Frankie’s NY Bagels announces plans to close and hopes to ‘pass the bagel torch’ to new owner
Almost two years ago, Frankie Baker, the aptly named owner of Frankie’s NY Bagels, first announced plans to “pass the bagel torch” by finding a new owner and moving on to other adventures.
Operating out of a commercial kitchen at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, the Rochester native had mastered the art of creating classic New York-style bagels, as well as a variety of other treats, such as bagel dogs, bialys and an ever-increasing variety of sweets. (Her vegan donuts are especially popular.)
Baker failed to find a new torchbearer in 2020, though much to the relief of his customers, he carried on, operating the business single-handedly with reduced hours while continuing to expand his menu.
A few weeks ago, however, Baker took to Facebook to announce he was finally moving on. “Most of you have known for a while,” he wrote.
Once again, loyal customers feared that they would soon lose their jalapeño cheddar bagels, their maple bacon and walnut donuts, their bagel sandwiches, or perhaps the whole pickle-flavored cream cheese bagel.
One of those worried patrons was East Bay transplant Steve Band, whom Baker introduced earlier this week as the next owner of Frankie’s NY Bagels. Here is the video:
Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Baker said he was “so relieved” to have found someone who wants to take over the business and keep the classic menu alive.
After a while, he passed the phone to Band, whose voice exuded the same enthusiasm he displays in the video above.
“Like many people in Humboldt County, I’ve come to rely on Frankie’s bagels for my East Coast bagel fix,” he said. “When I heard he was in danger of disappearing, it was too much for me to bear.”
Raised in the East Bay town of Richmond, Band said he always loved cooking. Yet his wife, who grew up on the East Coast, opened his eyes during a visit to New York.
“She exposed me to real bagels and my world was never the same again,” he said.
Band added that he is in a perfect place to change his life path because his previous career, as a political consultant working on grassroots campaigns across the state, was destroyed by the pandemic. Political consultants mostly work remotely these days.
“So it’s a very different career, but I’m very excited,” he said.
What do Band and his wife have planned once they take over?
“For the foreseeable future, we intend to honor Frankie’s legacy,” he said. This includes keeping the company name.
“We are going to keep all the vegan treats as well as the bialys and the cookies. Bagels will remain exactly the same for the foreseeable future. If anything, we’ll add stuff. Because my wife and I are Jewish, we will probably add rugelach, challah and other Jewish treats. And my wife is vegan, so we’ll make sure to keep a steady supply of vegan donuts.
Baker, meanwhile, will serve as a youth prevention specialist with the Humboldt Independent Practice Association. A graduate of Cal Poly Humboldt’s (née HSU) Critical Studies in Race, Gender, and Sexuality program, Baker described his new career as being “a bit like a wellness coach for college kids.”
As Baker trains Band to master his recipes, Frankie’s NY Bagels will be open on Sundays for the rest of this month, except for the 28th, when it will be closed. The group plans to officially take on the bagel torch in September.