Drawn to the mountains and the snow, Carolyn Doyle, owner of Big Bang Bagels, relocated from Ottawa to Fernie in 2005. Another draw for Carolyn was the small, friendly community atmosphere that Fernie provided as well as lots of opportunities to get involved.
Carolyn started off her career in Fernie the way most people do, with about five different jobs juggling them all at the same time, all the while trying to get in as much skiing in as possible. Eventually she grew tired of that and decided it was time to start something new. Being from Ottawa, where bagel shops thrive on every corner, Carolyn felt that because of the demand for more local eateries Fernie would welcome such a shop.
In the summer of 2008 she started baking bagels and selling them at the local farmers market. That went very well and after that she received a huge helping hand from a local pizza shop, Just Pizza, who shared their space with Carolyn for a year making starting a business really affordable. By starting small and with the support of the people in Fernie, Carolyn was able to make her dream of opening a bagel business a reality and is now not only in her own space but has two thriving locations in Fernie.
Big Bang Bagels offers an array of “Fernie” style bagels as well as a variety of bagel sandwiches. One of the local favorites is the Breakfast Banger, perfect before hitting the slopes.
10 Years into her business we sat down with Carolyn Doyle, owner of Big Bang Bagels, to reflect and celebrate the past decade. Carolyn started out by renting Val Hafke owner of ‘Just Pizza’ ‘s kitchen space for $10 a day, using the pizza ovens to bake her very first bagels. With a trusty team to begin with, two audacious Kiwi’s helped her out the door and would hand deliver lunches by hustling 2nd Avenue, meeting the towns business owners and managers, often securing orders for the next day.
After a decade of experience, Carolyn’s tips and business guidance for individuals looking to start up their own business in the food and beverage industry include doing your best to maintain no overhead, be resourceful, use your connections and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Though Carolyn has many people to thank for helping her reach this milestone such as her friends, family and other local business owners, who were all key to helping open two locations, her partnership with Cuppa’s (a coffee roaster from Lethbridge AB) is the support she is grateful for most and has been serving their brew since day one.
With a decorated window front, showcasing all of the shops humble ‘Fernie Fix’ voters wins, on the inside lays a power house of a team. Tim Popowich of Fernie Copper Works, credits Carolyn’s staff as top of the line in terms of service and mentioned that “they are, season after season, the friendliest business in town”. One decade in business, and two locations later makes this a Fernie Success story.