SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Breaking bread with others is a classic way to build community.
In Sioux Falls, one local business made a different kind of bread popular 25 years ago. Its place as a Sioux Falls staple has many wondering how it created a circle of success.
Bagel Boy opened its doors in August of 1994. It’s current owners, Mike and Brenda Dinsmore, have been running the business since 2000. They sold their 26th Street location to an employee in 2012 but still own the Bagel Boy name.
Building a bridge to bagel success takes the perfect mixture.
With two-plus decades of experience at Bagel Boy, Manager Kevin Hauger knows how to craft a roll or two.
“We run it through the top belt here. And there’s a knife in the back that cuts it down to the size piece that we like,” Hauger said.
Plain and simple. It’s a process that takes place three days a week using the company’s original mixer and former.
“And then they come out the end of the tube there and then, bingo. Magic,” Hauger said.
“We love the bagels. These are real bagels,” Carol Leitheiser said.
Carol and Larry Leitheiser have been enjoying the magical rings for years.
“Every morning. Got to come for coffee and a bagel and then proceed for the day,” Carol said.
“I usually order a blueberry bagel or a cinnamon raisin,” Larry said.
A common routine for many in Sioux Falls, but it wasn’t always that way.
“25 years ago when they started, it was kind of new in town here to have a bagel,” Larry said.
“Fresh out everything,” Mike Dinsmore said.
Real New York-style bagels, but what sets them apart? Dinsmore says preparation makes them different from what you’d find in a supermarket.
“They look dull. It’s bread. Round bread, that’s what it is,” Dinsmore said.
The Pennsylvania-native says the key to his product is in the boil.
“After it sits in the cooler, you bring it out, throw it in the kettle. You boil it for about 2-3 minutes. That’s what gives it a nice shine on the bagel. If this process is not done, it’s not considered a New York-style bagel. That’s what we want because this is the real deal,” Dinsmore said.
Dinsmore, who had a pre-bagel career in television in New York and Los Angeles, says Bagel Boy has been a hit with its Sioux Falls audience as well as the new additions to the growing community.
Bagel Boy moved to this location at 33rd and Minnesota back in 2012. They make a ton of dough here, literally. They go through about 2,000-pounds of flour every week and 500-pounds of cream cheese.
“That’s a great thing to hear too. ‘Oh I’m from New York and I’ve tried your bagels and you’ve got a good product. Got a New York bagel there,'” Dinsmore said.
You might be wondering how this east coast guy ended up in the midwest.
“My wife is from Mitchell. After the LA days, I got married. In fact we just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary along with the 25th anniversary of Bagel Boy. Go figure,” Dinsmore said.
The two have a son and daughter together. They call them their bagel boy and bagel girl. Both work at the store often.
“My kid was two years old when we moved here. Now he’s working in the back making dough and doing a very good job. I have to give him an atta boy,” Dinsmore said.
The Dinsmores will tell you their family has extended far beyond their own kids.
“I like helping people get their day started,” Michal Hartmann said.
Hartmann and her fellow employees are the other part of the company’s mixture of success.
“I’ve found that if you smile at people and you talk to them in an upbeat when then it usually comes back around,” Hartmann said.
Hartmann has worked here for 11 years. Little did she know, these rings would lead to a different version.
“The customers come in… (laugh) The customers come in on a regular basis. You get to know them. You start to talk. I was a single lady. He was a single man,” Hartmann said.
The two would eventually walk down the aisle and have now been married for eight years.
“The store closed down because I had invited all my co-workers. It was a bagel wedding. We didn’t dress up like bagels or anything,” Hartmann said.
From bagel weddings to bagel babies and a cult-like following, the gathering place has sliced out a piece of Sioux Falls history.
“There’s not too many places where you walk in and they say, ‘Hi guys! How are you doing today.’ When you leave. ‘Bye. Have a good day,'” Carol said.
“It does make a difference when people stick around, especially at the front counter. When you can walk in and recognize a face that’s been there for 8, 9 and 10 years,” Mike Dinsmore said.
Some for even longer. Being located next to area schools also helps.
“It’s great to have the colleges nearby. It’s nice to have USF and Augie. We really feed off of them. They feed off of us and we feed off of them,” Dinsmore said.
It’s all led to high ratings for this bagel show across all age groups, even after 25 years.
“Bagel Boy. A Sioux Falls tradition. We hope that continues for another 25 years,” Dinsmore said.
Bagel Boy serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at each of its two locations. Staff say some of their most popular items are the everything bagel as well as the pizza bagel and the turkey club.