Many of Northfield’s signature restaurants and coffee shops can be found on Division Street. The old-fashioned brick buildings and big-windowed storefronts foster nostalgia throughout the downtown area. Many of the shops and restaurants have been staples in this town for decades and are known and loved by college students and locals alike. But, venturing north on this historic street, amidst the familiar shops and street signs, a new fresh-faced bakery will catch your eye.
Tandem Bagels, owned by Tony and Anne Frentz, is the third bagel shop the couple has opened together. They were part owners of Bagel Bros. in Northfield for six years, and in 2012, they opened the original Tandem Bagels shop in Mankato, Minn.
The name, Tandem Bagels, references a tandem bicycle and all the images that tandem biking conjures.
“We [named] it because we thought it looked nice, but really because we are trying to promote bicycling, walking, running and just in general being active,” Tony Frentz said. An active community is just what they found when they arrived in Northfield, where they opened their second shop on March 5.
The popularity of their bagel shop in Mankato led them to explore other locations, and in Northfield, “the demographics seemed very good for bagels: outdoor and active, universities and a great downtown with a lot of walking [traffic],” Tony Frentz said.
In Mankato, the Tandem Bagel company is very active in local community events, and the owners have no intentions of denying Northfield that same privilege.
“In Mankato, we support and donate to pretty much every single outside, active event, and we plan to do the same in Northfield”, Tony Frentz said.
But does the Northfield community need another new bakery? After all, CakeWalk just opened up less than a block away.
Tandem Bagels is so much more than a simple bakery, according to Tony Frentz. By combining a bakery’s sweetness and a sandwich shop’s ability to provide a full meal, Tandem Bagels can appeal to a variety of tastes at all hours of the day.
The Tandem Bagels secret to delicious food is the business’ use of fresh ingredients. Local and organic ingredients are the cornerstone of each order.
“Our goal is to buy whatever we can locally and try to be conscious of our environment while making great handmade – and organic, where we can – products,” Tony Frentz said.
From the second you walk through the door, the atmosphere wraps you up in aromas of fresh coffee, muffins, scones, pastries and, of course, bagels.
To craft their bagels, Tandem uses a special process. “We use a method that I believe is the only correct way to make a genuine bagel. Once the dough is made and poofs up, we first boil it in water and then hearth-bake the bagels. This process gives them the slightly chewy outside and soft inside,” Tony Frentz said.
Tandem Bagels is open Mondays through Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. A complete breakfast and lunch menu can be found on their website, www.tandembagels.com.