"We are not your average bagel shop, bakery, deli or cafe. In fact, nothing about Blazing Bagels is average. We started from a hair-brained idea and we still have hair-brained ideas but somehow, it just works..."
Owner, Dennis Ballen, began selling bagels and cream cheese out of a handmade bagel cart to local businesses during breakfast and lunch time, post being laid off from his office supplies sales job of 30+ years. Turns out, people in the Seattle area really do like bagels. Leading to more accounts, Ballen hired a handful of senior citizens to push bagels around to more businesses. As routes grew and Ballen continued to be unsatisfied with the bagels he was purchasing from a small bagel shop in town, Ballen hired a consultant and learned how to make his own bagels. Nothing was going to stop Ballen now. The first retail shop opened in 2001 in the same space where he had invested in bagel making equipment. A few years later, Bellevue Blazing Bagels opened and then the brick and mortar location at Safeco Field, Sodo Blazing Bagels soon followed…
Opening up a bagel shop was easy. Having customers find it was another issue. In 2001, soon after opening… Ballen began advertising his first retail location on a main street in Redmond, since the shop was not easy to see and to this day, is still listed poorly on Google Maps (yes, we know we can change it). Turns out, by advertising with a sign on the sidewalk, directing people to Blazing Bagels was not so favored by the City of Redmond. Ballen was told it was against city rules and a distraction to passing drivers. With neighboring cities using the same signs, even bigger, to advertise, Ballen began researching his rights and fought the city to allow the use of signs to advertise his small business. Unintentionally, this fight against the city gained a massive amount of publicity from local news stations whom all wanted to interview Ballen. If locals hadn’t heard of Blazing Bagels yet, the news coverage sure led them to our doors.
Ballen sued the City of Redmond for $1 with the help and support of a national small business non-profit law firm called, the Institute for Justice, based in New York. After a long battle, a lot of great news coverage and community support, Ballen won the right to advertise Blazing Bagels on the side of the street and set the precedent for all small business owners wanting the same privileges to advertise. The case was taken all the way to the 9th Cir. U.S. Court of Appeals.
Blazing Bagels home base, in Redmond, WA proudly showcases its’ well deserved $1 framed for all to see.
OUR BAGELS ARE ON A MISSION...
Blazing Bagels provides great food prepared with passion, care and all-natural and fresh ingredients. We provide a positive “OMG” sensory experience that starts right when our customers walk into our doors. Hot bagels being tossed into our bagel racks throughout the day, cookies always baking, coffee brewing and always, always, always free samples.
We specialize in making happy customers by providing endless customized options…
Our menu offers classic NY Deli Sandwiches for those who are true deli-goers… Serving 1/2lb of homemade Corned Beef on our own Rye bread. On the opposite side of the spectrum, our customized sandwich options can create the craziest stacked veggie and vegan sandwiches.
Blazing Bagels makes 35 different bagel flavors, homemade breads, rolls and even hand formed gluten free bagels. Momma, our hardworking cream cheese creator, makes 14 varieties of schmear with all-natural ingredients fresh every day.