The cult-like following of Exodus Bagels will soon flock to Jamaica Plain. The popular local business serving freshly made New York-style bagels is slated to open its first retail location at 3346 Washington St. in the former Canto 6 bakery spot.
"We cannot begin to tell you how excited we are to move forward! We need a space to serve consistently without bouncing all over town. We want to preserve our community investment by opening in a spot that we used to frequent (and have since missed). And we're grateful to serve the very neighborhood in which Exodus was born," according to Exodus' Facebook post announcing the new retail spot, which will serve bagels, sandwiches, coffee and drinks.
The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of the completion of owner Adam Hirsh's Kickstarter campaign to open a commercial location in Roslindale, for which he raised more than $60,000. Hirsh, who initially created his bagel business out of the kitchen of his Jamaica Plain home, had hoped to open a deli/diner at the Roslindale location on McCraw Street, but found it needed zoning board approval and significant physical improvements, whereas the former Canto 6 space was already appropriately zoned for cafe-like uses, according to the Kickstarter post.
The video below, from 2016, discusses the creation of Exodus Bagels (and was made when the original intention was to open a retail location in Roslindale).
Exodus Bagels began as a "cottage business, giving away bagels to hungry volunteers in exchange for their input and their desire to share their experience with others." The business quickly cultivated an impressive customer following across the area, and started creating its delicious bagels out of the CommonWealth Kitchen (CWK) in Dorchester in 2015. In 2016, Exodus Bagels moved its operations and opened a commercial kitchen in Roslindale.
As Exodus' popularity grew, so did lines at Exodus Bagels' pop-ups locations like the Egleston and Roslindale farmers' markets, and customers clamored for a more permanent retail location. The McCraw Street facility will continue to serve as a commercial kitchen at which Hirsh expects to make bagels and other food items "with greater frequency," while "the smaller retail space on Washington is where we will focus on serving our bagels, sandwiches, coffee and drinks to the hungry Parkside neighborhood and all those who venture here."
While Exodus will be making a journey of sorts to open its first retail location, the business is not actually a reference to the Bible book, according to its Kickstarter page. "We are not named after the Old Testament. It is concerning the displacement of people that Exodus takes its name. We are acutely aware of the precariousness of what a home is in Boston...and how it is only a matter of time before people are displaced and pushed into new places. We are trying to create a model of a business that does not push people away, but attracts them to return from their own inevitable wandering. We want to be a home away from home."
Specifics on the new JP storefront, such as an opening date, opening hours and more, will follow in the near future. On the Jamaica Plain News Facebook page, Exodus Bagels indicated the storefront would open in "2017 for sure."