By 4 a.m., as the rest of dreamy Niantic, Connecticut sleeps to the sound of soft waves by the shore, Deke Haylon has already baked muffins, prepped pastries, and boiled bagels. His hands move at the speed of light as he preps over 900 bagels for the Friday morning rush—making bagels with all kinds of fresh flavors from his backyard garden. Tomato Basil, Olive Rosemary, and of course, his signature Everything Bagel.
Customers flock to Deke’s Bagels even before doors open at 7.am., ready for their morning dose of carbs. By then Deke is ready for a nap, admiring all of the bagels and pastries (including homemade focaccia bread) that will likely be sold out by 11 a.m. In a few hours, he’s back to prep the bagels for the days ahead.
By the end of the day (for Deke, that’s around 3 p.m.) he’s home at his cottage, weeding in the garden and picking any of the fresh vegetables and herbs for his next batch of bagels. He’s tired, but content, to be serving his community with food locally-sourced from his garden and other farms. He musters enough energy to see friends and family before crashing in his bed before the sun even sets. And starts again at 3 a.m. the next morning.
I was lucky enough to walk through the entire bagel process with Deke on Friday, July 10. Here are a few of the many shots we captured in a day’s work. You’ll likely see more of them as time goes on over on the Deke’s Bagels Instagram page.
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