Bagelfeld: Man launches booming bagel business in Phoenix

An Arizona man who worked as a private chef has found his new calling amid the pandemic: bagel making.

Every ingredient? Meticulously measured. Dough? Perfectly risen. Bagel? Baked to perfection.

But it didn't start out this way.

"I never made bagels until my first batch back in August," said Charles Blonkenfeld, owner of Bagelfeld.

Like many people, Blonkenfeld found himself looking for work during the lockdowns after his lucrative business as a private chef began to dry up.

After a few weeks of trial and error, he perfected his recipe and began selling his own bagels. Bagelfeld Bagels was born.

"I got lucky real quick that the farmer's market let me in on Saturdays," Blonkenfeld said. "Then two weeks later I was at Uptown Market and it was a Saturday, Wednesday thing -- and add an employee, add one more, add one more…"

He recently started a Kickstarter to purchase his own equipment, but upped the ante by raising money for his own bakery and bagel shop. The fundraiser blew past his goal of $27,000.

He hopes to be selling bagels out of his own shop within the next few months.

"The response of the crowd, the people buying the bagels -- I didn't know people loved a good bagel like that so much," Blonkenfeld said.

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