Rainbow bagels take Brick Lane by storm

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Rainbow bagels at the Brick Lane Beigel Shop Pic: Rebecca-May Honeybone

New York’s multi-coloured bagel sensation has arrived in London, and don’t worry –  this is not the work of yet another hipster pop-up shop.

The Brick Lane Beigel Shop has introduced the latest and hottest Instagram-worthy delight – the rainbow bagel.

The low-key family-run business – which has been selling bagels for over 100 years – seems an unlikely home for such a cool trend.

There are no flat whites or popping-candy cereal, but traditional bagels filled with smoked salmon, salt beef and more, along with its newest member the rainbow for 50p.

But the Beigel Shop sells more than 1500 bagels a day and is an attraction in its own right.

“This is a family business which has existed for more than 100 years” says Jimmy Taffat, 45, head baker at the shop.

“The business is a famous place, we have people from all over the world come here. We’re here 24-hours-a-day, Christmas, New Years, we’re always open.”

Open since 1855, the original late-night store, not to be confused with it’s next-door competitor Beigel Bake, helped put Brick Lane on the map.

And in the midst of a constantly changing area – with vintage stores and fashionable cafes popping up – the store’s long-standing popularity only adds to its charm.

Taffat says: “The business is still the same, it has never changed. Too many people here on Brick Lane get confused, this shop has been here for a long time and other [businesses] see that Brick Lane is very busy and the rent is very high but it’s not good for other shops. Too many people open up then close down.”

“When people come to Brick Lane they come for us. They don’t want a sandwich, you can get them anywhere; they want bagels.”

Brick Lane is well known for its rise in fashionable ventures, such as the cereal cafe and despite setting the latest rainbow-coloured trend, it appears the Beigel Shop’s success lies in its sense of tradition.

Hayley White, 24, manager of the Beigel Shop adds: “I don’t think much has changed. There’s a lot more trendy shops and vintage shops now, it’s become a lot more modern, whereas it used to be quite old. I think a lot more young people are attracted to the area.”

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Head baker Jimmy Taffat and manager Hayley White with rainbow bagels ready to be baked

Reflecting on the timeless success of the business, White maintains: “We’ve always kept the original recipe. We haven’t changed much, everywhere else is changing but we’ve stayed the same and that’s always a good thing.”

While observing tradition is important, there is no doubt the rainbow bagels, inspired by Scot Rosillo’s The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, have been a success.

White continues: “My sister is a journalist in New York and she’s always looking around for the latest things and so am I. She showed me the guy in Brooklyn [Rosillo] so I went to him as he’d started making rainbow bagels.

“The rainbow bagels go down really well, they sell out very quickly. The Beigel shop next door keep calling up as people are asking them for them [rainbow bagels] too. It’s been getting very busy, we keep having to make more and more.”

Find the Beigel Shop at: 155 Brick Lane, E1 6SB

Video by B. L.

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