Bagels are everything for business expanding into Granby
Chris and Adrienne Stine joke that if they made it through last year, they can survive anything.
The couple opened Bighorn Bagels in Grand Lake on Jan. 25, 2020. While they weathered great adversity their first year in business, the Stines haven’t lost their sense of humor.
“We thought it’d be really cool to open before a pandemic,” Chris Stine said. “We survived that. It was very, very slow for a long time. The summer picked up and we thought, ‘Hey, maybe we can do this.’ Of course, then the fire happened.”
Grand Lake residents for six years, the family was one of many that had to flee the East Troublesome Fire in October. The long-lasting power outage wiped out the bagel shop’s inventory, but a group of volunteers helped the Stines reopen Bighorn Bagels before they could even get back into their house.
Kindness from the community over the last year has helped them survive, and it has helped them give back.
“During the pandemic, we had lots of support from donations to give people bagels,” Adrienne Stine added. “There’s just been a lot of community support to help us … Those things helped us through the pandemic.”
Of all the challenges the Stines faced, finding the right location to expand was not one of them. When Chris Stine mentioned during an appointment at Granby Dental earlier this year his hope to open more bagel shops, the dental assistant told him that she knew where his next location would be.
Bighorn Bagels opened its Granby location last month. Both the Granby and Grand Lake locations serve true New York bagels.
“It’s not a New York-style — it is a New York bagel. They come from the Bronx,” Chris Stine explained. “They do the boiling process in New York and they do what’s called par-baking, so they bake it a little bit so it maintains its shape and they freeze it.”
Where: 1 W. Agate Ave., Unit 3, Granby, and 1141 Grand Ave., Grand Lake
When: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily in the summer
More info: http://www.bighornbagels.com
Bighorn Bagels then finishes baking those bagels and serves them up fresh. According to Adrienne Stine, everything bagels are a favorite menu item, but the newer Asiago and jalapeno cheddar bagels have been so popular that the shops ran out this week.
Customers can order customized egg sandwiches, which are another one of their most popular products. The lox bagels, which have salmon smoked in whiskey barrels in Scotland, also have been well received.
“(The lox) is another specialty. I’m huge into taste,” Chris Stine said.
A firefighter for 16 years with a brother in the Colorado State Patrol, Chris Stine also enjoys sharing their bagels with first responders. For the Stines, building those community connections is a big part of the bagel experience.
“We don’t know all the Granby locals on a first-name basis, but we’re getting there,” Chris Stine said.
For Adrienne Stine, who is also a fulltime teacher, getting to know the customers is a highlight of the job.
“I just love talking to the people,” she said. “Getting to know if they’re visiting or what their jobs are if they’re in the area.”
Another highlight for the Stines is being able to offer many students their first job in the area. With Bighorn Bagels only on its second summer, a number of teens returned this year to work.
“We’re a lot of kids’ first jobs, and we like that,” Adrienne Stine said.
Of course, hiring student-workers comes with its own challenges. Like many businesses in the county, the Stines are struggling to hire a year-round staff as the new school year approaches.
The dream was to open 10 bagel shops in 10 years. The Stines aren’t quite sure that will happen, especially without more staff, but Chris Stine thinks the next one will be toward Fraser.
For now, he’s content with the two shops they have.
“We’re excited to be in Granby,” Chris Stine said. “We may open more stores in the future — though I’d really have to convince Adrienne at this point.”
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