New Bagels in Burlington
Roy Feldman, circa 1980s
It could be said that Roy Feldman introduced Burlington to the New York-style bagel. “They really weren’t that culturally well known at the time if you didn’t grow up with that,” he says of the European Jewish bread he was raised on in New Jersey.
In 1979, Feldman opened the first Burlington Bagel Bakery. Nine years later, he sold his original Main Street location and a second one he had opened in 1985 on Shelburne Road. (The latter remains open.)
Since then, Feldman has focused on consulting for other bagel bakeries and playing viola in the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. For a couple of years, he directed the South End Arts and Business Association, which perhaps inspired the location of his new enterprise; his culinary and artistic passions will soon find a home at Feldman’s Bakery at 660 Pine Street, to open by May 1.
Feldman says it was the interest of his 28-year-old daughter, Maddy Feldman, who’s worked in restaurants locally and in New York City, which brought him back to the bagel biz. “I can’t tell you how elated I am to partner in this business with my daughter,” he says.
Feldman’s will sell bialys (unsweetened bagels with no hole), sandwiches, salads and chicken and vegetarian soups, all homemade. But bagels will be the main event. “This will be an artisanal bagel for the foodies, a premium product bringing back the tradition,” Feldman says. “Most of the bakeries are buying their bagels, thawing them and putting them in a steam oven.” The Feldmans will roll their bagels by hand before boiling them in water and baking them.
Artists’ studios will occupy the back half of the large space under the direction of Christy Mitchell, director of S.P.A.C.E. and Backspace galleries further north on Pine. Feldman hopes to bring in musical performances, as well. “We’re putting culture and commerce into action,” he says. And feeding art lovers in more ways than one.