Dragonfly Bagel Co. celebrates 5-year anniversary
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The business landscape is ever changing in South Lake Tahoe, however one business that has persevered through the tribulations that the past five years has presented is Dragonfly Bagel Co.
The local’s favorite bagel shop officially opened under the business name Dragonfly Bagel Co. in 2018, and five years later, the shop is still dishing out a weekly rotating menu of freshly made, unique bagels. What initially began as a pop-up bagel shop inside a small cafe on Ski Run Boulevard has since grown into having its own storefront with supportive staff, and loyal clientele that eagerly anticipate what Dragonfly Bagel Co. will be baking each week.
Owner and lead baker Caitlin Gammage started her first shop, Firefly Coffee House, in Santa Cruz in 2006, where she developed the signature bagel recipe that is still used today.
“During the recession in 2008, I started messing around with bagel recipes,” Gammage said. “I started testing out by making eight to 10 bagels a day, completely from scratch, and I had a couple key customers that were adamant that I kept doing it and figuring it out.”
With creative cooking methods in a limited space, such as boiling water in a rice cooker and kneading dough between customers at the coffee shop; the bagels instantly gained traction in the Santa Cruz community, and became a hot commodity each day at Firefly Coffee House.
A decade later, Gammage sold Firefly Coffee House to embark on a new adventure of living in Lake Tahoe. Caitlin and her husband, EJ Gammage, moved to South Lake Tahoe in 2017, and a year after moving, opened their first pop-up shop making bagels inside the Blue Angel Cafe, now Yugen Cuisine, on Ski Run Boulevard.
“My husband was pushing me to make bagels again while we established our new lives in Tahoe when we first moved, I really credit him for starting back up and inspiring me again,” Gammage said. “We started as a pop-up here, and threw this crazy idea to Blue Angel [Cafe] about making and selling bagels and we’ll set up and take it down each day, and we did that for our first year Thursday – Sunday each week, and it stuck.”
The Gammage’s quickly outgrew their pop-up shop inside Blue Angel Cafe, and moved their location inside Black Bear Lodge. This pop-up kitchen is where Dragonfly Bagel Co. spent the most time perfecting their bagel recipes, and became better rooted in the South Lake Tahoe community.
After their time at Black Bear Lodge, the Gammage’s relocated to inside Sidellis Lake Tahoe, where they served up fresh bagels each morning before the brewery was open. Shortly after their pop-up shop inside Sidellis, the Covid-19 Pandemic hit South Lake Tahoe, and along with most businesses, Dragonfly Bagel Co. pivoted and took a chance.
“We got the opportunity to move into our current shop spot in the summer of 2020,” Gammage said. “We jumped on it as fast as we could, and we’re lucky to have secured the spot so quickly.”
Now, Dragonfly Bagel Co. has been anchored at their current location on Sandy Way in South Lake Tahoe for three of the five years they’ve been in business, getting further rooted in the local community.
“Since we started in Tahoe it has been a positive whirlwind, but I can honestly say that the reason we’ve been able to succeed is not just because the community up here supports one another, but the businesses in this community strongly supports one another as well,” Gammage said. “I think that’s just such a testament to a town, and I’ve felt that support so strongly ever since we opened.”
While the Gammage’s credit the community for the growth of Dragonfly Bagel Co., they also attribute their growth to their staff.
“We wouldn’t be here without our staff, they keep us going,” Gammage said. “Our staff is truly amazing, they treat Dragonfly Bagel Co. as if it’s their own shop, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have a team that cares for our business the same way that we do.”
Looking forward, Dragonfly Bagel Co. is eager to continue to grow in the South Lake Tahoe community.
“I feel like the best is yet to come and we are excited to continue to grow,,” Gammage said. “We are incredibly grateful for our growth and being a business in South Lake Tahoe for five years now, and are just excited to see what’s next for us.”
Dragonfly Bagel Co. is open six days a week, and closed on Tuesdays. Weekdays, they are open from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., and weekends they are open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit Dragonfly Bagel Co. in person at 3358 Sandy Way in South Lake Tahoe. Orders may also be placed online in advance at dragonflybagel.com.
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