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Bottom Line: Bagel depot to debut in West Lebanon

Valley News Business Writer
Published: 5/1/2021 9:58:45 PM
Modified: 5/1/2021 9:58:42 PM

Katie Stamper realized it’s time to take the batter into her own hands.

Stamper, whom many clients know as the longtime hairstylist with an artist’s skill and disarming smile at Christian Roy’s Salon in White River Junction, is opening her own bagel pop-up store in the refurbished 1920s-era Worcester Lunch Car at the River Park development in West Lebanon.

Explaining that bagels have always been her favorite food, Stamper said the leap from cutting and coloring hair to kneading and boiling bagel dough rose during the pandemic after 13 years as a stylist.

“COVID changed a lot of thought processes about what people want to do with their life, and I decided to make a career change on my own terms,” Stamper said, noting that “hairstyling has been great” but “if I was doing this during the 10 weeks the salon was shut down, I would have been making money.”

Stamper, despite her devotion to bagels — the Bagel Basement eateries in Lebanon and Hanover were a fave hangout when she was a student at Lebanon High School (Class of ’99) — owns that she didn’t boil and bake her first bagel until “2½ months ago.”

But social media-savvy and unafraid to appear vulnerable as she learns the process, Stamper, who recently turned 40, has been chronicling her bagel journey on Facebook and Instagram so that people can follow along as she masters the skill of bagel-making using locally made ingredients.

Mostly her bagel apprenticeship has been a success, although she did acknowledge an “epic fail” when he attempt at a chocolate chip bagel looked not unlike a cow pie.

Manure-looking bagels aside, Stamper has whipped up all kinds of recipes, including a “pizza bagel” that is made out of King Arthur Baking Co. pizza dough and pizza flavoring powder, Cabot cheddar cheese (extra sharp) and chunks of Garfield’s Smokehouse pepperoni.

In another creation she sprinkles in pan-fried bits of North Country Smokehouse andouille sausage.

Stamper is also working on a line of cream cheese spreads, including a maple-flavored one made with syrup from Nott Family Farm’s Choice Maple.

Stamper’s social media posts caught the eye of Chet Clem of Lyme Properties, the developer of River Park, who said they revealed “someone who had a great idea and a lot of hustle.”

He offered her the refurbished dining car to use on Saturdays to retail her bagels to the public; Stamper plans to be there May 15 selling bagels until she runs out.

“It fits in with what we’re doing at River Park with our Sunday food trucks and walking tours,” Clem said.

Stamper is calling her venture UV Just Bagels, making the bagels for now out of her kitchen at her home in Grantham and selling them on Saturdays and an as-yet-undecided weekday evening. She emphasized that she is only selling bagels and tubs of cream cheese “to go” so customers can make their own bagel sandwiches.

Eventually, Stamper hopes to sell her bagels every day and offer delivery as well, location TBD.

“This is retail only; I’m not looking to encroach,” Stamper said, alluding to Orford bagelmaker Goose & Willie’s, whose bagels are available at Lou’s, My Brigadeiro and the Hanover Co-op, among other Upper Valley locations.

Stamper said she will continue to work at Christian Roy’s until the end of the year, but next year she expects to be beating the bagel batter full-time.

“I’m keeping it simple. I’m trying to simplify my life,” she said.

Keys change hands at Newport Chevrolet

The Jeff and Matt Show has ended its hit run at Newport Chevrolet.

Autosaver Group of St. Johnsbury, Vt., has sold Newport (N.H.) Chevrolet to Key Group of Portsmouth, N.H. That means general manager Jeff Scarinza will no longer have co-host and ace sales manager Matt Lecuyer by his side on the videos they posted biweekly on the dealership’s Facebook page in which they, in boisterous fashion, riffed on snowmobiling, NASCAR, the Super Bowl and pumpkin carving.

Although Scarinza and most of the dealership’s employees are staying on under the new owners, Lecuyer said on the video announcing the dealership sale that he will be continuing with Autosaver at its Springfield Buick GMC Cadillac dealership in North Springfield, Vt.

But Lecuyer stressed there is no ill will over the breakup.

“The best group of guys you could ever do business with,” he said of his co-workers in Newport, adding, “If you want to buy a Chevrolet, don’t want to buy a GMC from me, come see these guys.”

Lecuyer, who often could be heard exclaiming, “Holy Shmoley!” to trumpet deals, hinted that he’s working on revising his video segments at his new dealership.

“Stay tuned,” he said.

Key Auto Group, the Portsmouth, N.H.-based auto dealer has been aggressively taking over Upper Valley dealerships in recent years, including buying both the Nissan and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealerships in Lebanon and opening a Chevrolet dealership in White River Junction. Its new dealership in Newport is now known as Key Chevrolet Buick GMC of Newport.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.




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