Gulf Bagel Factory general manager Chris Gauci explains why bagels don’t have to be an unhealthy indulgence
How does Gulf Bagel help F&B outlets to manage their costs and waste?
Our Dubai-based factory produces and delivers frozen, ready-to-use products to F&B outlets, which can be stored for up to one year. The bagels simply need to be toasted and garnished, which facilitates smooth operations and minimises waste. The fact that we are locally based offers significant cost advantages to our clients and helps with food safety and sustainability.
When will your new Zaatar bagel be launched, and what markets will it appeal to?
We believe this bagel will be quite appealing to Middle Eastern consumers as it is obviously a prominent spice blend in the region’s cuisine. However, it has grown to become a popular and appreciated flavour for Western tastes too, so I believe it will also appeal to this market.
What other new flavours are you working on?
We are currently working on developing sundried tomato bagels and have introduced a nice selection of French- and Italian-style breads such as brioche buns, loafs, muffins, butter croissants, focaccia and ciabatta. These products will strongly contribute to Gulf Bagel Factory’s growing portfolio and emphasise our commitment to delivering a variety of quality baked goods.
What are your expansion plans for the region?
The business has grown rapidly over the last couple of years, which is testament to the value of our proposition. We want to strengthen our position in the UAE, and looking to the future our objective is to expand to other GCC countries and, eventually, other regions.
What are the major challenges of operating in the Middle East?
One of the biggest challenges has been educating the market on the importance of quality baking recipes and production methods. When made the authentic way, bagels and breads don’t need to be viewed as an unhealthy indulgence. We always emphasise our use of the finest raw materials, which are free of artificial additives and preservatives, and our authentic recipe’s kettle-boiled method, which offers a healthier option.