A BUSINESS owner has been forced to change his opening hours and menu due to rising costs.

Ian Brooke, who owns Brawsome Bagels, has had to change how he runs the store as the cost of ingredients increases and people spend less money on luxuries.

The Partick bakery, which uses all Scottish products from small suppliers, opened in July 2021, offering expertly crafted handmade bagels that are freshly baked in-store with a selection of fillings and flavour combinations.

However, Ian says the business, like many across Glasgow, is struggling due to a "perfect storm" of factors including, the cost of living crisis, winter weather and strikes, although he fully supports them.

Glasgow Times:

The 43-year-old said: "At the moment there are three things at play.

"One, the weather, it’s winter, the fact it’s raining a lot isn’t great.

"I can guarantee if it starts raining sideways the custom here does drop off because we don’t offer sit-in, but then if the customer drops off we expect Deliveroo to pick up the slack and nine times out of 10 that’s what it will do.

"Then with the cost of living, people are tightening their purse strings, people are being more careful.

"We’re in that horrible period between Christmas and January pay day so people have got less money to spend, and no matter how you slice it we’re a luxury.

"Then the other thing is the strikes, they’re definitely affecting it.

"If people are out on strike they’re not going to be able to come down here, or they’re not going to be able to get here if it’s transport related.

"I fully support the strikes, absolutely, but it is a double-edged sword."

Glasgow Times:

He added: "The natural thing is to tell consumers to get out and spend local, but people will go and spend where their budget allows, you can’t judge them for that.

"But I do think the government could do more to support businesses, especially when you’ve got small businesses saying ‘we can’t do this anymore, we’ve got nowhere to turn’."

Glasgow Times:

Ian, who pays staff a living wage, has now reduced the number of days the bakery is open, changed the menu, adding items such as Bialys and cinnamon rolls, and increased the price of some items. 

He said: "I’ve seen colleagues, friends, close their places down, I’ve seen other places close down and it’s probably going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

"We’ve brought our hours down from seven days a week to five to just do something to try and reduce what we’re spending.

"I went through a process of looking at what I’m paying and costing everything out that goes into the bagels and, we’ve avoided it now for the longest time but, we’re going to have to increase our prices because certain things are going to be too expensive to keep as it is.

"But we’re introducing new products as well, other things that are cheaper to make, and will fill people up just as much and taste just as great."

Glasgow Times:

However, Ian still says he feels "optimistic" about the business's future, and says the challenges have allowed them to be more innovative. 

He said: "Evaluating your menu is a positive thing because it’s allowed us to go ‘we you know what that thing isn’t selling as well, let’s get rid of it and put something else in its place’.

"And we’re going to be opening a stall at the Barras and if that goes well then we’ll look at taking on a unit down there.

"So these are all opportunities that have come despite what’s going on.

"We know that our product sells elsewhere, we do other markets and we just can't make enough to satisfy demand so we know the demand’s there."

The Glasgow Times has been raising awareness of the cost of living crisis through our beat the squeeze. 

Brawsome Bagels is located at 292 Dumbarton Road, and is open Thursday to Monday.