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Day in the Life: Ian Brooke, owner of Brawsome Bagels in Glasgow

This bakery recently launched a Pride-themed rainbow bagel to raise funds for LGBT Youth Scotland

Published: June 30, 2022
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7am

I had big ideas of 5am starts and early finishes when I started Brawsome Bagels, though it hasn’t quite worked out. Once I’m ready, I enjoy my coffee in the garden, while the dog alerts the neighbours to his continued security efforts. My husband and I walk the dog together and discuss what the day has in store, including planning dinner. Food is the thing we talk about the most – we are either trying new things or entertaining friends with our new recipes.

8.15am

Having completed the school run – my husband is a teacher and our only child is our four-legged friend – I arrive at work. I have a quick catch up with the front-of-house staff as I help them get the shop ready.

9am

The doors are open and I write the menu on the windows. It’s one of the small pleasures of owning my own shop: having my personality stamped on it. I will often serve the first customers – another genuine pleasure.

10am

With the front-of-house team in, I catch up with the kitchen crew and my second-in-command, John, who I couldn’t do all this without. We crack a few jokes and map out our day. That includes discussing which markets we’ll attend, testing recipes, rebuilding the website and organising photographers. No two days are the same.

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12pm

I’m thoroughly caffeinated, so I’ll most likely get myself a filled bagel or a cinnamon Biscoff swirl while I check emails. With so many variables just now in the hospitality industry, it’s really important to me to keep in regular contact with customers and local suppliers.  We monitor our prices religiously. Being an accredited Living Wage employer, it’s become essential to ensure we remain profitable and don’t have to increase prices further.

1pm

David, our talented kitchen manager, is finishing up, so we’ll take a quick breather outside to chat. He starts at 4am to ensure everything is ready for the shop front. We’ll talk about new flavour combinations and other local businesses whom we admire. Our current favourite is probably Chulo’s Bakes - we have serious cookie envy.

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4.30pm

I’m usually ready for a change of scenery at this point, so I will head home to walk the dog with my husband and ask what our dinner plans are again. My memory for anything unrelated to work isn’t great.

7pm

I’m surprised by what we are having for dinner, but very lucky as my husband is such a great cook. While my go-to is always Italian (which has lead to an unofficial pasta making war with one of our neighbours) he will often surprise me with something I haven’t tried. It’s mostly summer salads just now.

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8pm

We relax with a movie, or read at opposite ends of the couch. I am currently reading The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde, whilst dipping in and out of The Nordic Baker by Sofia Nordgren. 

9pm

Bedtime, as the dog has completed his final security inspection for the day and is away to lie down in his doggy-sized teepee. The last thing I’ll look at is some bakes and cakes on Instagram, before it’s lights out at 9.30pm.

www.brawsomebagels.co.uk

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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