Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
Pia Cannedy, owner of Rochester Bagel & Coffee House, has enjoyed the rich success of her establishment, and appreciates its history.
“The Brash family first opened Rochester Bagel in August of 1998, over 20 years ago,” Cannedy says. “There have been a handful of other owners over the years, but it was during the period of 12 years that Terry Cressinger owned it when he perfected the bagel-making process. His disciplines and practices are what we have continued, because he is quite the genius. I purchased it in 2015, and have enjoyed watching it grow and flourish. I know I still have some surprises up my sleeve to wow customers, and I would like the opportunity to bring them to fruition, so I may be here for a while.”
Cannedy noted that her children, Kianna, Ava and Ehren first inspired her to purchase the bagel shop.
“My daughters begged me to do it, and promised to eat bagels every day and work with me side by side,” Cannedy says. “The promise of spending time with them while I worked was really the inspiration to take on this project. It may look like a small business, but the commitment was huge and the hours are long. It’s been well worth it. I love the process, and have had to learn it well to ensure we maintain consistency and quality.”
Cannedy adds that her “craft begins with making the bagels from scratch, so each batch is unique. Our second priority is we fill it with fresh, quality ingredients, from the cream cheeses and butters to the slow-cooked Italian beef and pulled pork,” she adds. “We want customers to love what they are eating and come back to try more.”
Rochester residents have kept Rochester Bagel & Coffee House’s business thriving over the years.
“The Rochester community has been amazing,” Cannedy says. “I love meeting new people everyday and the response has been overwhelmingly positive and embracing. I absolutely love that we have the privilege to know people by name, get to watch their families grow, and get to meet their loved ones when they come into town.”
Cannedy’s personal favorite is the turkey, bacon and Swiss with avocado on any type of savory bagel.
Cannedy hails from San Francisco and says she knows great food.
“I grew up with it and have a palette for fresh, tasty and wholesome (food),” Cannedy says. “But what is really important to me is that the customer is very satisfied and has enjoyed their experience with us.”
Cannedy says she has grown to embrace and respect the Rochester community.
“The town exudes strong moral value, and we are all connected,” Cannedy says. “I was born and grew up near San Francisco, California, in a small beach town called Pacifica, and there were a lot of great attributes I can recall, but my most fond memories are the people. Through the years I have had many adventures and lived in exciting towns, but there is not one place that I can recall where I can honestly say that I have met so many people that possess honesty, warmth, sincerity, integrity, pride and loyalty as I witness daily in Rochester, Indiana. I love what I do and do what I love, and for that reason I just recently put that up on my wall.”
Cannedy says the bagels are what people come in for, but it’s the great staff that keeps them coming back. Her daughter Kianna, who goes to Arizona State University, works at Rochester Bagel when she is home.
“She enjoys the customer service and interaction,” Cannedy says of Kianna. “My daughter Ava is very focused on getting the sandwiches and orders made just right, and served timely. My daughter Ehren has learned the bagel-making process, and makes the best cheddar cheese bagels.”
Rochester Bagel & Coffee House customers have plenty of choices. There are 23 bagels to choose from, nine homemade spreads, bagel pizza, and hot and cold sandwiches.
“Our bacon scallion cream cheese is a savory favorite, as well as Cinnabutter and maple walnut for our sweet bagels,” Cannedy says. “Our coffees are absolutely fabulous. Our Jet tea, chai lattes, and the wide assortment of very tasty loose-leaf teas are favorites.”
During the first two weeks of February, customers can order heart-shaped bagels.
“Call us and let us know 24 hours ahead to fulfill your order,” Cannedy says. “On Valentine’s Day we will have a limited supply on hand, but if you order ahead we can guarantee what you need.”
Rochester Bagel & Coffee House is located at 231 East 9th Street in Rochester. For more info, call 574-223-4100 or visit rochesterbagel.com.