The Bagel Cafe

Making bagels and building friendships seem to have something in common for Michelle Goulder, owner of The Bagel Caf, at 631 South Mason Road.

If the customers who visit Goulder's shop daily are any measure, she is adept at both.

"We're all about people," Goulder said. "I know about their families, they know about mine. We've established friendships here."

Goulder bought the shop six years ago from a local couple. She was tired of the corporate world, having worked for Starbucks and Target previously, and wanted to run a caf but was looking for a place that spoke to her, she said. One morning she and some friends stopped in.

A few weeks later she bought it from the owners. They had not advertised that the business was for sale but had quietly hoped someone would make an offer.

The 80-seat caf now continues to grow its business every year. The menu boasts 23 flavors of homemade bagels, a variety of gourmet cream cheeses, deli-style sandwiches, cookies, and several varieties of Katz coffee, among other offerings.

It takes as much as 43 hours, start to finish, for the shop to make a batch of bagels. It all depends on the "proofing"—the time provided for the yeast to rise. Even with the same recipe, the conditions—temperature and humidity—make each batch unique. Some are tough; some are airy.

Goulder said they are constantly trying to refine and expand their recipes. The inspiration for many of the flavors comes from Goulder's own palette. She and her team, for example, are currently fine-tuning gingerbread and pumpkin bagels for the holidays, she said.

A cinnamon almond nutmeg cream cheese was another combination that she loved, so they experimented with it until they got it right.

But the offerings go deeper than taste. This month the shop's plain bagels and some of its cookies are tinted pink for breast cancer awareness. The proceeds go to a local family coping with the disease.

It is a subject all too close to the heart for Goulder, who has survived breast and ovarian cancer and took her last chemotherapy for bladder cancer in January of 2013.

The experience changed her in important ways, Goulder said. She now "doesn't sweat the small stuff."

She has also hosted coat collection drives for the homeless and toy collections for underprivileged kids around the holidays.

Among those who frequent the caf are longtime Katy area residents Mary Sheppard, Barbara Bell, Margie Veuleman and Lucy Smith. They have met for coffee and bagels, since before Goulder bought the place.

They gather around one of the caf's tables every Thursday at 9 a.m.—as if around someone's kitchen table—to talk kids, quilting, dogs, politics, religion and other topics. The last two subjects, they admit, they try to limit.

"They know what bagels we want when we walk in the door," Bell said. "Most of the time we don't even have to tell them."

The group pauses from their discussions to greet the soldiers who walk over from the Armed Services Career Center a few doors down. Veuleman says she has adopted the role of "official soldier hugger."

The self-described "bagel ladies" said they appreciate the sense of community the caf provides.

That the food is good, too, goes without saying, they said. That fact is borne out by their return every Thursday.

Bagel baking timeline

10–15 minutes

make and mix dough

14 minutes

cut into strips

15 minutes

machine cuts strip and forms segments into round shape with hole in the middle

60–90 minutes

proof (rising time), varies by bagel style

3–24 hours

pull bagels from freezer a day in advance

16 hours

proof inside walk-in cooler

23 minutes

put them in steam box

12–18 minutes

bake in the oven

The Bagel Caf

631 S. Mason Rd.

Katy 281-646-7474

www.thebagelcafe.net

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Corner 99 is now open in the Katy area. (Courtesy Joshua Resnick/Adobe Stock)
Corner 99 now open in Katy area

The restaurant serves a menu of Vietnamese dishes.

Reborn Med Spa opens in Katy area

The business offers a variety of spa services, including facials, hair removal, massages and cellulite removal.

Gloria Bryant and her son Daniel Bryant own and operate Jazzy Junk Resale Shop. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy store Jazzy Junk Resale Shop sells used, repurposed furniture for home decor, craft projects

“I love when customers come in and say, ‘I bought this from you, and this is what I did to it,’ and they’ll show me photos of repurposing stuff.”

Katy Community Fellowship celebrates 20 years

The anniversary was celebrated with an event on Jan. 26.

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Get to know the Democrats running for U.S. Congress District 22 in the March 3 primary election

Four candidates are vying to be the lone Democrat in the U.S. Congress District 22 race in November. First, they must face off in the March 3 primaries. Get to know each candidate here.

2020 Camp Guide: 13 upcoming summer camps in the Katy area

From sports to language, Katy camps can help children explore a new subject or skill this summer.

KTY Restaurant competition lead
Katy-area restaurants see more competition

Demographic changes and rising rental rates play a role, experts say.

Upstream Lawsuit Harvey Lawsuit
Court finds Corps responsible for Harvey flooding of Katy-area properties upstream of reservoirs

A second trial to determine the damages to Katy-area properties will be held in November.

Cheetos Cheese Pickles from Biggy's (Courtesy Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)
Cheetos cheese pickles, mac and cheese eggrolls, deep-fried cheesecake: 93 food spots to try during the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

From tried and true to something new, the food options at this year's Rodeo include classic staples and crazy concoctions.

Fulshear City Council met Feb. 18. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Fulshear Police Department applies for protective gear; council amends recycling ordinance

The police department’s body armor must be replenished, Chief Kenny Seymour said.

Fifteen Republicans are vying to be the lone candidate competing against one Democrat on the ballot in November. First, they must face off in the March 3 primaries.
Q&A: Get to know the Republicans running for U.S. Congress District 22 in the March 3 primary election

Fifteen candidates are vying to be the lone Republican in the U.S. Congress District 22 race in November. First, they must face off in the March 3 primaries. Get to know each candidate here.

The Traveling Carrot
Raw vegan food truck The Traveling Carrot finds home in Katy area

The Traveling Carrot’s menu offers a variety of meals made with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains.

Back to top