Coffee drinkers, bagel lovers and devoted consumers of morning treats are probably excited about the new Bruegger’s Bagels that just opened last week at 437 Commerce Drive in Woodbury. There’s something a little different about this location: The interior design is totally new, but one crucial component is missing—and Bruegger’s says that’s a good thing.
This store, a brand-new flagship location, is the showcase for a fresh design template that’s going to be used in all new Bruegger’s locations going forward. The new design is lighter, cleaner and more consumer-friendly, says director of marketing Judy Kadylak. “At our core, we’ve always been a community gathering place. We’re celebrating the art of baking and making that so much more prominent in our design.”
The focal point of the new Bruegger’s location is the blank brick wall in the center of the store. That’s where artists, professional and amateur alike, are invited to submit abstract, two-dimensional designs, one of which will be chosen to fill the empty wall in the Woodbury location—and several more around the country. The winner of the contest will also receive $10,000.
“A lot of what we’re doing with this is to make the bagel the hero. We felt like inviting the artist to be a part of that made a lot of sense,” Kadylak says.
While such a high-stakes commission might seem nerve-racking for artists to attempt, Kadylak insists that this challenge is within reach for any artist. “Come and check out the bakery,” she says. “If you look around and see the art that’s there, and what would fit [on the wall]—it shouldn’t be intimidating. Being in the space and seeing the space should bring inspiration organically.”
Interested artists have until March 31 to submit their designs for the brick wall at the Bruegger’s Bagels Facebook page. Rules and contest details are available now.
In addition to soliciting brand-new art for its walls, Bruegger’s is implementing some new elements into the operations of its stores beginning with the new Woodbury location. A full barista bar is expected to change how customers interact with the bakery, Kadylak says. “We’re primarily a breakfast and lunch shop, and coffee is a big part of that. People’s coffee habits have shifted a lot over the last 30 years.”
A glass partition next to the service line gives customers an up-close-and-personal view of the bagel-making process, which Kadylak says still adheres to artisanal baking traditions that have been a part of the Bruegger’s method for decades. “This is a great opportunity to go back to the roots—what makes us special and different—but update the look,” she says.
Other updates to the Bruegger’s experience include new menus and items, logos, team uniforms and more. Most importantly, Kadylak says, the new design emphasizes Bruegger’s’ involvement in every location’s surroundings. “We see ourselves as a community bakery, and this design is much more reflective of that. We’re trying to create a comfortable space where people can come and see their neighbors, and just enjoy being there.”