Do you want content like this delivered to your inbox?
Share
Share

Blue Frog, Your Favorite Bakery, is OPEN for BUSINESS!

Randal Engelmann & Erik Gould

We are Randal Engelmann and Erik Gould, partners in providing exceptional customer service...

We are Randal Engelmann and Erik Gould, partners in providing exceptional customer service...

May 8 8 minutes read

You don't need to miss Blue Frog's delicious pastries and treats. They are open to satisfy your sweet cravings.


Randal:
Welcome back to Stay Focused, Zoom editions of interviews with local business owners. Today I'm really proud to have Brad Brown, the owner of Blue Frog Bakery. So welcome Brad. Tell us a little bit about your bakery.

Brad:
We are the Blue Frog Bakery, or I'm from the Blue Frog Bakery. We've been in Jamaica Plain now for 16 years and at the same location, 3 Green Street. We are a scratch bakery. We make everything by hand. We make everything with the finest ingredients that we get and just bang out the best product we can day in and day out, six days a week, because we're closed Mondays because I need a day off.

Randal:
One of the questions that I'm asking a lot of people that are doing these interviews is what kind of changes have you had to implement in your business due to the changes with the COVID issues that we're facing?

Brad:
Sure. Thankfully, not too many. We have always been a retail bakery. We don't have any seating. We don't have a menu that... Well, we have a menu that lends itself to takeout, because that's what we do.

Brad:
We do practice social distancing in the bakery, so there might be a couple people standing out front if they come by. We've taken our coffee service behind the counter, so now instead of you doing it yourself, creams and sugars in your coffee, we're doing it for you, which is something we've never really done.

Brad:
Other than that we're a food service establishment, so we have fairly strict and stringent cleanliness rules that we have to follow, so we've amped that up. We have a sanitizer solution we use and we wipe down the front of the house every 20 minutes, half an hour, all the door handles and all the areas where people may touch, just to kind of keep it that much cleaner.

Randal:
So outside of some additional sanitation, for you guys things haven't changed much for you?

Brad:
No. Not at all.

Randal:
Wow. Okay. Excellent. That's a really different message that we're hearing, because so many businesses have changed so dramatically in this. Are there any really cool big sellers that you've had lately that have changed at all?

Brad:
I had some leftover brioche dough and I put some cinnamon and sugar inside it and glazed it with like a white icing and I just threw it out there, and we sold out in about five minutes. Ginger put a picture up. Ginger, my wife, put a picture up on Instagram and people were calling immediately.

Brad:
We always made a pecan sticky bun, but it didn't sell nearly as well as this. So we're now stopped making pecan sticky buns and started making this brioche cinnamon bun, and I can't make them fast enough.

Randal:
People love it, huh? It's the power of social media. It's amazing, isn't it?

Brad:
It is. We'll post something and a minute later somebody will call and say, "Can you hold two or three of those for me? I just saw it on Instagram."

Randal:
What's inspires you?

Brad:
All kinds of stuff. If I'm at the market and I see something I like that looks good, whatever it may be, fresh mangoes or maybe a papaya or grapes, strawberries, blueberries or something interesting, lemongrass, I'll grab some and try some stuff out.

Brad:
Also social media, all the other pastry chefs out there that are doing things. Hey, that sounds kind of cool. That sounds like a neat idea. I'm just having fun.

Randal:
Awesome. Really your shop does reflect kind of that easygoing, very approachable kind of feel.

Brad:
It does. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Then we have our favorites. We have things that I can't take off the menu because the people love them and they just sell really well.

Randal:
What would those be?

Brad:
Well, I mean in the fancy pastry end that would be our chocolate eclairs and our baked custard tarts. We make a baked custard tart, like an egg tart with apples and blueberries, and we make an almond frangipane cake, which is a buttery almond cake topped with apples or cranberries.

Randal:
And it's fun to say.

Brad:
Frangipane. Yeah. Yeah. And you will always find those in the cabinet along with... You know, we always have chocolate chip cookies, milk chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter cookies.

Randal:
We were chatting a little bit and you had a couple of insights into how to kind of support your local businesses a little bit better, insuring that there's a few more bucks in their pocket. Chat with us about that for a moment.

Brad:
Sure. Sure. I think getting out there and going to these businesses or ordering from these businesses that are still open is key. If you are ordering, try not to use the big online ordering companies like DoorDash and Uber. I don't want to badmouth them, but they do take a chunk of money out of the pockets of the small businesses.

Brad:
And you know most of these businesses, if they're open, aren't getting any type of government assistance. They're not getting the PPEP or the emergency funds, so they're out there just trying to scrape it together and keep their people working.

Randal:
And there's a lot less people using cash these days, aren't there?

Brad:
There is a lot less people using cash, and that's something I am now rallying for, and I will ask anybody watching this to get in touch with your Senators and your Congressmen to try to convince banks and credit card companies to reduce the fees and percentages they take through these small businesses.

Brad:
Credit card use has gone up in our business 100%. It doubled. It's doubled from what we normally do and the banks are still taking their percentages, and that would be instant money, never leaving my pocket.

Randal:
[inaudible 00:05:43] in the community that way, you'd keep that money right here in the community to help support the people that are working in the bakeries and the small businesses.

Brad:
Right. Well, and it's... This is money that we take in and then at the end of the month the credit card companies when they process it, they grab a chunk of it and take it out. Well, if that was halved then we'd have that money in our pockets immediately. We wouldn't have to wait. We wouldn't have to wait for any kind of help from anywhere else, so it's a big thing.

Randal:
Yeah. Possibly buy more sanitizer to make sure that-

Brad:
Exactly.

Randal:
So, Brad, any big takeaways that you'd like to deliver to our viewers for this little segment?

Brad:
Stay healthy. Stay socially distanced, yet still try to get out and visit your local places, even if you can do it... I mean if you have to do it online do it online. That's great, anything you can do to keep going. I mean we're here for you. The small business folk in JP that are still open are here to assist you in any way we can.

Randal:
And it's really interesting to see the whole community coming together through this process. Where can we find you, Brad? Online? On your social media sites? What-

Brad:
I only handle the baking part of it. We've got a Facebook page, Facebook/BlueFrogBakery I think. We've got an Instagram account. Again, I don't even know what it is.

Randal:
We'll look that up for you.

Brad:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Randal:
You keep baking brioche cinnamon buns and we'll find you online.

Brad:
There you go. There you go. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean we're out there. So yeah, and that's it. We don't actually even have a website yet. I've been trying to get one.

Randal:
Mostly social media?

Brad:
It's all social media for us. Yeah.

Randal:
Excellent. Excellent. Thanks for joining us today, Brad. Try to get some rest. I understand, you know, you start very early in the morning.

Brad:
Yeah. Usually 3:30 to 4:30 in the morning. No big deal. If you don't like early mornings don't become a baker.

Randal:
Don't become a baker. No doubt. Well, hey, stay busy and stay healthy and-

Brad:
Thank you very much. You too.

Randal:
... [inaudible 00:07:52] to our community.

Brad:
Awesome. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Randal:
Thanks Brad.

Brad:
Cheers!

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience and deliver our services. By continuing to visit this site, you agree to our use of cookies. More info