One local bakery has survived an unscheduled opening, during COVID-19, and a national cream cheese shortage. On top of that, they sell out of multiple of their products, if not entirely almost every day.
Macon Bagels, owned, opened, and operated by Patrick Rademaker and Lauren Bone, began serving Macon residents in August of last year right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rademaker and Bone passed through Macon the first time while on vacation with their friends, and some of the passionate residents there pushed them to make the move.
"Macon just seemed like the perfect place to start something," Bone told 13WMAZ.
Bone grew up loving bagels, and now happily clocks in long before dawn, all for the love of the job.
"I like getting to be my own boss," Bone said.
"I love bagels. I think that’s something I grew up eating. I think it’s something that people who grew up eating bagels are super passionate about. They know what they like, they know the good texture it supposed to be, they know their flavor. Everyone has such an opinion about bagels," Bone told 13WMAZ.
Since opening, Macon Bagels has been steadily building its fanbase, and now has dedicated regulars that come in every morning. Rademaker claims to know most people's order by their face alone, cemented by a guest that walked in the door, who he immediately greeted by guessing her order, correctly.
"Hey, Honey on Adobo?" Rademaker said, already moving to prepare the item: an adobo cheddar bagel with honey-blended cream cheese. Most of Macon Bagel's cream cheeses are made in house, but lately, Rademaker and Bone have been facing issues with the national shortage.
"It has good flavor, it's consistently good, and it's what I get pretty much every morning," said Jolie Stucky, one of Macon Bagels' regulars. "The people that work here are great, the food here is always great, and it's just a great part of my morning."
"The cream cheese shortage has definitely affected us," Rademaker communicated via Facebook. "Luckily when the supplier is out we can supplement with supplies from local grocery stores."
The real recurring problem is often not just the cream cheese being out nationally, but when customers visit in the afternoon, Macon Bagels has already sold out. Rademaker says that they most often sell out on weekends, when their hours shift to later in the morning and afternoon.
The most recent full sell-out was just last weekend, Feb. 12, and it happened almost three hours before the scheduled close at 12:31 p.m.
"Y’all CAME OUT today!!! I think “feeding frenzy” would be a good term??" Macon Bagels posted on Facebook. "We are sold out, gonna close up early so we can prep extra for tomorrow! THANK YOU."
Macon Bagels regularly has partial sell outs, especially of their most popular offerings, like their adobo cheddar bagel, and especially their signature "everything" bagel.
They have a variety of new and limited time options, including their "Wise Guy:" a sandwich consisting of fresh mozzarella, sundried tomato cream cheese--an in-house creation--arugula pesto, tomato & salami on a bagel of your choice.
Macon Bagels is located 470 3rd Street in downtown Macon. They operate from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Henry Keating '24 is studying Journalism and History at Mercer. He has worked at The Cluster as both a writer and SGA correspondent. He enjoys playing and listening to music, hiking and camping, and photography in his spare time.