Stuffed bagels are now available at Campbell’s, with Asian-inspired flavors

Corn and Cheese Flour stuffed with corn, Kewpie mayonnaise, green onions and mozzarella, dipped in honey garlic butter and topped with cheese from Bloom Bagels in Campbell. Courtesy of Bloom Bagels.

The stuffed bagel craze from Los Angeles has finally made its way north to Campbell — now with an Asian twist.

Recently popularized by Calic Bagel after taste tests and at-home recreations went viral on TikTok in April, these bagels are partially cut, stuffed with a cream cheese filling, then dipped in flavored butter and baked for extra crunch. And while Calic only offers three flavors (garlic, habanero, and pizza), a new location in Campbell opened June 7 with a rotating variety of Asian-inspired flavors (think cheesy corn with Kewpie mayo or miso green onion). The bagels are also unique—they’re a hybrid creation of soft New York-style bagels and fluffy Asian bread, a recipe developed by owner Emily Tran.

“I wanted to offer something unique, especially in this neighborhood,” Tran said. “There are two traditional bagel shops right around the corner, so offering a different menu was one of my goals.”

This is Tran’s start in the food and beverage industry, having previously worked as a product manager in a corporate office. During the pandemic, she wanted to gain experience as a business owner. So, in late 2023, she acquired Campbell’s Bagel Bar, a locally owned bagel shop that has been in business since 2018.

“I realized I was unhappy because it wasn’t necessarily my business, it was someone else’s,” she said. “And as an Asian-American, I had a lot of flavors that I wanted to explore that I didn’t think would resonate well with that market. So I thought rebranding and opening another store … was a good way for me to create something that was more in line with what I had in mind when I wanted to start a business.”

Emily Tran (left) and Aaron Kim are the co-founders and business partners of Bloom Bagels. Courtesy of Bloom Bagels.

Tran didn’t plan on closing Bagel Bar when she acquired it, and she said it was a difficult decision to officially close the shop in early May. With the rebranding, she and Bloom Bagel co-founder Aaron Kim can more freely experiment with the flavors they’re passionate about. Tran hopes to eventually introduce bagel flavors like sriracha, kimchi, ube and black sesame.

“I’m a big foodie,” Tran said. “I love exploring flavors, especially since I started this business and saw how much people have enjoyed it. I’m spending more free time thinking about what kind of foods I can incorporate into a Bloom-style bagel.”

All bagels are boiled and baked fresh in the morning, and it is recommended to arrive early as Bloom Bagels often runs out of stock around noon.

“The priority right now is to scale up, because I feel bad when we sell out really quickly and people are traveling an hour away and they realize too late that we’re out of bagels,” Tran said.

Einspanner, an iced espresso drink poured over a bed of whipped cream and milk, from Bloom Bagels in Campbell. Courtesy of Bloom Bagels.

In addition to stuffed bagels, Bloom Bagels specializes in beverages made with organic Linea coffee, organic Straus milk, house-made syrups and flavors, and imported Japanese tea. Look for drinks like the Einspanner (an iced espresso shot over whipped cream and milk), the black sesame latte, and the hojicha latte, all with recipes developed by Campbell native Kim.

“I actually see a lot of old school friends from 15 or 20 years ago in the area, but it’s pretty cool to see local people again, see familiar faces,” he said.

Kim got his start in the coffee business about eight years ago, starting with Alexander’s Bakery in Mountain View. During the pandemic, his sister opened Jina Bakes in San Francisco’s Japantown, and Kim set up the coffee program. After that, he worked as a solo barista at Microsoft’s Experience Center before Tran asked him if he’d be interested in developing a coffee program for his bagel shop.

Kim takes an artisanal approach to her drinks, scraping the seeds from vanilla beans to make the vanilla syrup that goes into vanilla lattes and creating her own chocolate blend using Valrhona chocolate for mochas.

“I think it’s definitely worth taking these steps, even if it’s just a drink,” he said.

A selection of flower-shaped bagels from Bloom Bagels in Campbell. Courtesy of Bloom Bagels.

Tran said she chose to name her business “Bloom” for two reasons: It conveys the meaning of “growth” and the filled bagels resemble a flower in bloom.

“As I reflect on the journey of owning Bagel Bar and the challenges I faced and the learning I gained from all my mistakes, I realized how much I grew from that experience, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to do this in the first place,” she said.

Just a month after opening, Tran and Kim are working to streamline the operational process, but they look forward to the opportunity to open more Bloom Bagels locations in the future and are grateful for all the support they have received from the community.

Flowery bagels519 E Campbell Ave., Campbell; Instagram: @bloom_bagels. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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