Food

The Bagel Den brings a fresh bite to Kimball Junction

PARK CITY, Utah — Kimball Junction is set to gain a new gathering joint this summer, and bagels are on the menu. The Bagel Den, owned by Midway local Matt Johnston, started as just a small shop in Heber. Johnston soon added another shop in Provo, and Park City will now be his third location.

The opportunity came out of a serendipitous moment when the current owners of Park City Roasters were ready to transition out of their space to focus specifically on coffee roasting, and Johnston was feeling the need to create more space for his growing business. After a phone call between the two of them, Johnston said, “I called my wife and told her, ‘I think we just took over the Park City Roasters space!’”

The rest was history, and Johnston went straight to work, completely revamping the space with new floors, paint and lighting. His focus maintained on the cleanliness and openness of the space to allow people to gather, eat, and also work. The lounge area, which is partially separated from the main eating area, offers a cozier feel for customers to sit back with a bagel sandwich, a cup of Park City Roasters coffee, and catch up on emails.

“The back room of the den is all my wife’s; she is designing it,” Johnston said. “It will have couches and lounge chairs, so people can meet or sit around with their laptops and work.”

But the bagels—that’s Johnson’s “bread and butter.” Johnston won’t give away his sourcing secret but did divulge that his raw bagel dough comes straight from the East coast. “It’s proprietary dough,” he said. “No one in this area can get this dough from my guy, except for The Bagel Den.”

They may import the dough, but it’s all handcrafted and baked in-house. “We don’t just bake in the morning and that’s it,” Johnston said. “We bake all day long. Our last bagel comes out of the oven at 3 p.m., so everyone can get a fresh bagel until we close.”

Customers have the option of choosing between 19 different bagel flavors and 8 different cream cheeses made in-house. Breakfast bagels, lunch sandwiches, smoothies, and a full espresso bar will be available.

Johnston’s upstate New York background, and his desire for an impeccable bagel and sandwich, stem from the culture he grew up with. He prides himself on his approach to the entire process.

“Each egg is cracked by hand, our meats and cheeses are freshly shaved and sliced daily, our smoothies have no added sugars—it’s just fresh fruit and ice,” he said. “We want everything to be quality and fresh.”

Johnston credits his success to his employees, whom he has promoted from within to open the Park City shop. His son Devin, takes as much pride as Johnston in helping to open, and soon manage, the new location. Johnston’s approach to management is a testament to the longevity of his team, offering paid vacation, medical benefits, free food during work, 50% off food when they are not working, and, of course, the understanding of work-life balance on powder days.

“I get it; I am a big skier myself. But, I also understand the importance of work and reliability,” Johnson said. “I always say, check the weather report, and if you see a powder day coming up, get your schedule dialed!”

The Bagel Den is prepping for its grand opening in mid-June, and Johnson’s been excited watching the store come together.

“I managed a bagel shop in Park City way back when,” Johnson said. “Now I can proudly tell all my friends and family back home that I now operate my own in Park City.”

Get a sneak peek of the menu by checking out The Bagel Den website.

 

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