Boichik Bagels, the winner of a 2021 NYC vs. California showdown sparked by a New York Times story, unveiled its state-of-the-art robotic bagel factory and cafe in Berkeley on Friday morning.
Eater was on the bagel beat on Tuesday, reporting that Boichik’s new warehouse in Northwest Berkeley near University Village centers on robotic technology developed by founder Emily Winston, a mechanical engineer by trade. Boichik successfully crowdfunded over $1 million to make Winston’s vision a reality.
According to the Mercury News, Winston oversaw the design for the entire mechanization process in her new 18,000-square-foot facility. Since it first opened in 2019, Boichik Bagels’ meteoric rise has meant that Winston and her team quickly outgrew their small kitchen on College Avenue, adding a second shop in Palo Alto in fall 2022. Now, the new bagel plant will help Boichik keep up with its glut of wholesale orders.
Winson’s mechanical dough line is divided into three components with adorable names to match, as the Merc reported. First up is Thor, a mixer and lift that deposits dough into a hopper. The hopper feeds the dough into BakTek, a piece of equipment that rolls the dough into the shape of a bagel. The third part is a robotic arm called BakerBot that moves each two-dozen batch of bagels onto a rack. This highly precise dough line enables Boichik to produce 10 times as many bagels per hour as it did before.
The heart of Boichik’s bagel bailiwick also serves coffee from local roaster Mother Tongue Coffee, as well as seasonal baked goods, lox and whitefish salad. Additional locations are already in the works. Eater noted that Winston plans to take over the old Borderlands Cafe space in Santa Clara this summer. Sooner or later, the sun will not set on the Boichik empire.