Entrepreneur of the month: Bagels & Beans
After Nicole and her husband Rudy de Vries had been successful for years in franchising various Bagels & Beans stores, they decided in 2015 to open a Bagels & Beans on Antonio Vivaldistraat, right next to Ravel Residence.
Nicole had a children's clothing store and Rudy a catering company before they approached Bagels & Beans in early 2000 with the idea of franchising. This idea was received enthusiastically and there are now 79 Bagels & Beans franchise stores. Do you also dream of having your own Bagels & Beans one day? On the website you can find more information about the possibilities and what the life of a real ‘bagel boss’ looks like.
Nicole runs the Bagels & Beans next to Ravel Residence and does it with great pleasure: "This location has lots of space, light and a large terrace where you can enjoy your lunch in the sun. Many of our customers are of course business men and women who are generally in a hurry. This increases the pressure to process orders quickly. But we also see a lot of students and residents from the neighbourhood. This interaction is really nice!"
About bagels, bread and bugs
To our question "Why a bagel instead of a sandwich?" Nicole says: "In fact a bagel is actually a sandwich, but slightly different. The original bagel consists of flour, water, malt and yeast. Before being baked, it is immersed in boiling water for a few minutes, this gives the bagel its characteristic taste, but also makes a bagel more heavy than a sandwich. Which is why you generally just need one bagel for lunch.’’
Nicole's favorite bagel is a classic that can be found on the menu throughout the year; a whole-grain bagel with carpaccio. But Bagels & Beans also has many other variations and special combinations to offer. For example the notorious bagel with insects. "The bugs bagel is actually a statement," says Nicole. "Bagels & Beans believes it is important to contribute to a better environment. This is also reflected in the many organic and sustainable products that we use. Breeding insects is a lot more efficient than breeding meat and fish. A much larger part of the animal can be used, namely 80% of an insect as opposed to 40% of a cow or pig. Also less water and space is needed. By eating insects you contribute to a better environment."
The bagel with insects consists of crickets, mealworms and grasshoppers. The taste of insects is comparable with the taste of nuts. It is not ordered often, but it is ordered and will remain on the menu for the time being.
Beside the fact that many residents of Ravel Residence are a customer at Bagels & Beans, a number of residents are also employed. According to Nicole, working at Bagels & Beans can easily be combined with studying. "We take the availability of staff into account when making the schedules. You can indicate this up to a week in advance. The main rule is that you work at least 2 days a week. In addition to this flexibility, we also see that there is a very nice atmosphere among the staff. Fun things are regularly organized, as well by Bagels & Beans as by the staff themselves. To enjoy working for us is a very important requirement because a happy employee also means a happy customer."
Would you also like to work at Bagels & Beans? Feel free to walk in or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Experience is a plus, but not necessary.
At last, we ask Nicole if there are any fun promotions this summer that will make a students' wallet especially happy. "No, we don't do a lot of discounts. When we just started, we had a promotional action where students could have breakfast with us until 9.30 a.m. for only €3.95. Funny enough, it wasn’t a success. I advise everyone to download the Bagels & Beans app. You receive a heart for every euro spent, simply by scanning the QR code at the bottom of your receipt. When you have saved enough hearts (points) you can exchange them for a free coffee or bagel of your choice or collect the entire Bagels & Beans crockery."