If Kellogg and Keebler can merge, so can Rude Brothers Bagels and Smart Cookies | TahoeDailyTribune.com

If Kellogg and Keebler can merge, so can Rude Brothers Bagels and Smart Cookies

If Kellogg and Keebler can merge, then by gosh, so can Rude Brothers Bagels and Smart Cookies.

That’s how Jim and Lisa Gosh feel about it.

The couple, building up a cookie wholesaler and retailer operation at Third Street and U.S. Highway 50, bought the bagel shop from Steve Rude Oct. 1.

“We thought we needed to expand,” Lisa said.

Expand they did. With the move down the street on Harrison Avenue, they bumped their square footage from 700 square feet to 2,000 and absorbed the eight employees making bagels, espressos and smoothies.

“We didn’t change the menu because it was so good. We just added more pastries,” Lisa said, referring to scones and muffins, and of course, cookies.

The Smart Cookies Bakery had already carried Rude bagels, and the trio were friends beforehand.

“The deal was good for both of us,” Rude said, adding the agreement also benefits customers because “nothing is going to change” from a consumer standpoint.

Rude and the Gosh duo started considering a transfer of the business that’s blossomed in more than three years, when Rude talked about getting out of the business nine months ago. The South Lake Tahoe couple eventually took him up on it, Lisa said, declining to disclose the selling price of the business.

“It was an easy transition,” said Jim, who received a crash course in how to make a better bagel from Mike the baker, and Rude, the former owner, who has no definite plans except to take a few months off.

“I just want to catch my breath,” said Rude, who has a background in financial consulting and investment partnerships.

While Rude plans to “take it easy,” the Gosh family will buckle down.

Operating on the old adage, “the family that plays and works together, stays together,” Jim and Lisa urged their three teen-agers to work the business. However, between the employees and the children, Lisa has found she’s relinquished working the counter, an aspect of retail she loves.

That’s OK, as long she and Jim get to spend their days off together.

“We could be together 24 hours a day,” she said. The Los Angeles transplants got married 20 years ago, spent their honeymoon and vacations in Lake Tahoe and haven’t looked back since they moved here a decade ago.

The Gosh family not only likes the town but they also like the location of the new store because it’s more central and the space gives them room to move around, with the kitchen amounting to six times the size of the old Smart Cookie operation.

Lisa still recalls those four years in tight quarters, when customers would come in looking for doughnuts. Now, the Gosh family gets everything it wants from a business in the everything bagel.

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