Griffintown is set to get its first bagel store, with Le Trou coming soon to William and des Seigneurs.
The small spot, set to open this winter, comes from couple Alexandra Grenier and Damien Cussac, who want to offer something in the area for locals.
“We’ve ben living in the area...for ten years now and we saw all the new businesses opening in the neighbourhood, all those banks, drugstores, Tim Hortons, and what we were looking for is local shops,” says Grenier.
Grenier is stepping over from 15 years in the hotel industry, and has been perfecting her bagels at home for over a year, with neighbours and friends buying them at times by the dozen.
At Le Trou, she’ll be working with some much more serious equipment — using a fire deck oven powered by natural gas (not wood-fired, due to concerns about possible future restrictions on wood-burning ovens in Montreal).
Grenier and Cussac are going to offer the classics — sesame, poppy, plain and one to-be-announced special creation, to be named the Griffintown bagel — and there’s no question about the style that’ll be offered.
“Definitely Montreal style...don’t ever make New York style [bagels] in Montreal. You won’t have any success.”
While it will be a small spot with just 10 to 12 seats, Le Trou will go beyond just churning out bagels — bagel sandwiches and a few prêt-à-manger options will be on offer as well as standards like smoked salmon and cream cheese to take home.
Getting into the bagel industry alongside huge names like Fairmount and St-Viateur may seem like a bold move, but the area around Le Trou is hardly overflowing with that boiled and baked dough — none of St-Viateur’s multiple locations are close by at all, nor are any other competitors, save mediocre coffee chains like Tim Hortons. (You could, of course, buy bagels at a grocery store, but common wisdom is that they’re never as fresh.)
Not to worry, says Grenier — she’s not planning on competing with the big names, but rather just offering something for the Sud-Ouest.
“They’re legends, I love what they’ve been doing for so long…I don’t have the pretension to think that I’ll become one of them anytime soon. Our position is to be a local bagel shop.”