Theodore’s Fine Foods joined the market a few months ago and since we are all sufficiently hooked on their delicious bagels, we decided to chat with Max about what makes his business unique. Wait, his name is Max, not Theodore? More on that below…
How long have you have lived in Arizona? I’ve lived in Arizona just about a year now, and have been in business a few months.
How long have you been a vendor at PFM? Theodore’s Fine Foods began as a Community Booth vendor in May when the Summer Season started and four weeks later in June were on board as a regular vendor. We have been here every week since. Besides myself, you can find Kathryn Van Demark, Joe O’neill or Carmen Cartterfield at Theodore’s serving up your favorite bagel.
What products do you sell? We sell bagels, cream cheese, and rugelach- all made from scratch.
What is rugelach? Rugelach is a fine little pastry dough made with our house cultured cream cheese, filled with toasted walnuts and your choice of chocolate, apricot or raspberry preserves. It’s my mother’s recipe and you’ll love it!
What is your top selling product? Rugelach is always a hit, but the answer is bagels. It’s definitely the bagels!
How would you describe your bagels to someone who has never tried them before? Theodore’s Fine Foods offers fresh made east coast bagels, with a crispy crust with a chewy interior, toasted and schmeared to order!
How do your products differ from store bought products? These are the real deal! What you get in stores or in mass produced chains do not take the time to develop flavor or texture properly and tend to resemble round bread more so than real bagels, Further, we don’t use a store bought cream cheese- we culture our own! From milk and cream to cream cheese is another three day process, but the quality and flavor you get is unparalleled when done fresh.
What is special about your business? We are committed to simple high quality products done right. Making one bagel takes three days start to finish, and while there are faster methods, we are not interested in finding short cuts as much as we are desirous of providing the most authentic and flavorful product we can.
Do you have a “fun fact” about yourself, your business or product? We are “Theodore’s Fine Foods” named after my dog, Theodore, although he does not actually help in making any of the food! You can usually see Theodore chilling out in the back of my open vehicle behind the booth, just outside the market, with his toothy grin, enjoying the flow of customers.
How do you get ready for the market? Our process starts on Wednesday by culturing the milk and cream and planning our bagel production. Thursday we hang and drain the cream cheese after it has had ample time to ripen, we portion our dry goods and mix our poolish (preferment). Friday we mix all of our doughs, first rise, cut and shape all of the bagels, then let them rise overnight in the fridge. We also whip, mix in toppings, and portion our fresh made cream cheese. Saturday morning around 2:30am we boil, top and bake all of the bagels fresh for the market.
What are your plans for the future? We are discussing a mobile food trailer, food truck or possibly a brick and mortar space. We are still deciding, so stay tuned!
Do you vend at other markets? Not currently. Come to PFM for your bagel fix!
Why is supporting local agriculture and business important to you? Being able to keep our carbon footprint small is both something we feel obligated to and proud of. Finding local producers is always exciting and allows us to utilize what is most readily available to us, as well as being able to support other folks doing business in the area – just like us! The more we can keep our dollars floating around the local level the better for everyone in the community.
What is your favorite product to buy from another PFM vendor? Lupe’s Tamales’ beet lemonade and tamales, La Pina Sabrosa’s green juice and asada plus Schaffer Farms mixed greens are all favorite market purchases.
What is your favorite market memory? Seeing our friends and family join us to support Theodore’s Fine Foods getting off of the ground and being able to sell out consistently knowing that the community around us supports the vision!
What else would you like to share? It has been wonderful plugging into the community of the market and seeing so many familiar faces each week. We are thrilled to be a part of the market and excited to continue to grow alongside it!
How can customers stay in touch? Follow us on Instagram and of course, come visit us every Saturday morning at PFM!