Bagels are everything for businesses growing in Granby
Chris and Adrienne Stine joke that if they were successful last year, they can survive anything.
The couple opened Bighorn Bagels in Grand Lake on January 25, 2020. While they went through great adversity in their first year in business, the Stines haven’t lost their sense of humor.
âWe thought it would be really cool to open before a pandemic,â said Chris Stine. âWe survived that. It was very, very slow for a long time. Summer picked up and we thought, âHey, maybe we can do this. Of course, then the fire broke out.
Grand Lake residents for six years, the family was one of many who had to flee the East Troublesome fire in October. The long-lasting power outage wiped out the bagel store’s inventory, but a group of volunteers helped the Stines reopen Bighorn Bagels before they could even get into their home.
The kindness of the community over the past year has helped them survive, and it has helped them give back.
âDuring the pandemic, we had a lot of support from donations to give bagels to people,â added Adrienne Stine. “There was just a lot of community support to help usâ¦ These things got us through the pandemic.”
Of all the challenges the Stines faced, finding the right location to grow was not one of them. When Chris Stine mentioned during an appointment at Granby Dental earlier this year his hope of opening more bagel stores, the dental assistant told him that she knew where her next location would be.
Bighorn Bagels opened its Granby store last month. The Granby and Grand Lake branches serve real New York bagels.
âIt’s not a New York style, it’s a New York bagel. They’re from the Bronx, âsaid Chris Stine. “They do the boiling process in New York and they do what’s called pre-cooking, so they cook it a little bit to keep its shape and they freeze it.”
Bighorn Bagels then finishes baking those bagels and serves them fresh. According to Adrienne Stine, all bagels are a favorite menu item, but the new Asiago cheddar and jalapeÃ±o bagels have been so popular that stores have sold out this week.
Customers can order personalized egg sandwiches, which is another of their most popular products. Lox bagels, which contain smoked salmon in whiskey casks in Scotland, have also been well received.
â(The lox) is another specialty. I’m a big fan of taste, âsaid Chris Stine.
A firefighter for 16 years with a brother from the Colorado State Patrol, Chris Stine also enjoys sharing his bagels with first responders. For the Stines, making those community connections is a big part of the bagel experience.
âWe don’t know all the people of Granby by first name, but we’re getting there,â said Chris Stine.
For Adrienne Stine, who is also a full-time teacher, getting to know clients is a highlight of the job.
âI love talking to people,â she said. âFind out if they are visiting or what their job is if they are in the area. “
Another strong point for the Stines is that they can offer many students their first job in the region. With Bighorn Bagels only in its second summer, a number of teens have returned to work this year.
âWe’re a lot of first jobs for kids, and we love that,â Adrienne Stine said.
Of course, hiring student workers has its own challenges. Like many businesses in the county, the Stines are struggling to hire year-round staff as the new school year approaches.
The dream was to open 10 bagel stores in 10 years. The Stines aren’t entirely sure this will happen, especially without more staff, but Chris Stine believes the next one will be towards Fraser.
For now, he’s content with the two shops they have.
âWe are delighted to be in Granby,â said Chris Stine. âWe could open more stores in the future, although I would have to really convince Adrienne at this point. “