URBANDALE, Iowa — A local bagel shop is known for its delicious New York-style bagels, but it’s facing some huge issues behind the scenes.
5 Borough Bagels is based in Clive but recently opened a new location in Urbandale because of its success at the first location.
All of their bagels used to be shipped from New York, but during the pandemic, they started the process of getting the necessary equipment to make them in-house. They found a way to purchase equipment at a lower cost if they agreed that some pieces were refurbished while others were new.
The first challenge was getting the equipment here, but this summer they were finally able to start using it. However, after just two uses, the equipment is broken and there’s no fix in sight.
The machine should be able to produce 4,000 bagels in an hour, but due it its condition, they had to resort to making bagels by hand. This process takes a while, so they can now make only 300 bagels in a day.
“We work 24/7. It’s not that we want to, we literally have to,” said Sarah Chem, one of the co-owners of the establishment. Sarah and Tony Chem began working late hours to keep up with producing enough bagels.
Despite their struggles, they haven’t turned down a single order. In fact, they say that the best way people can support them is by continuing to order from them, regardless of how small the order is.