Collaborations between local food producers aren't uncommon these days, but here's a brand new pairing to get behind: bagels and pickles.
More specifically, Bagel Uprising and Number 1 Sons. The two businesses became friendly while selling alongside each other at the farmers market. That's where they also became acquainted with Liz Davis, the owner of frozen custard shop Dairy Godmother. Davis offered her storefront on Mount Vernon Avenue during her winter hiatus, and the pop-up was born. (Davis has since announced she's closing Dairy Godmother after 17 years in business, and the space's future remains up in the air.)
At Salt | Bagel, which debuts Friday and runs through Feb. 26., home baker turned Bagel Uprising owner Chad Breckinridge will offer his full roster of five bagel flavors: plain, poppy, sesame, salt and everything. On market days, he'd been making about 500 bagels, but he plans to scale that up by several times for the pop-up, with the help of a recently purchased 1,400-pound mixer.
Breckinridge will continue to balance bagels with his federal day job, but he's using the pop-up to test the waters should he want to set up shop permanently in the future. "My litmus test is, 'Is it still fun?'" he said. "And can we make it work?"
The bagels will be used to make a variety of sandwiches using spreads developed by Number 1 Sons, the fermented food business that specializes in the likes of kimchi, krauts and pickled vegetables. Expect such cream cheese flavors as District Dill (fermented garlic and pickle spice blend), sweet potato pecan and apricot marmalade. Sandwiches will include one made with a poppy seed bagel, cream cheese, pepitas and a spread featuring Number 1 Sons's cider masala beets. Another will combine smoked salmon and dill cream cheese on an everything bagel with sprouts and pickled onions (a vegan version will feature smoked tofu salad).
The full lineup of Number 1 Sons products will also be available for purchase, which is especially nice, co-founder Caitlin Roberts said, because it will be the only place this season where they'll be selling indoors.
Potential customers have already expressed their excitement about the makes-perfect-sense and yet unconventional partnership. "We're going to blow Del Ray's mind," Roberts promised.
Salt | Bagel, 2310 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Daily through Feb. 26, weekdays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until the bagels run out.
This post has been updated.