# Newsletter

🥯 Bagels might not make it through the winter...

If you ever feel like you’re not good enough, or that you can’t have an impact on the world, just remember that some moron was able to add a building that looks like a 💩 onto one of the most beautiful skylines in the world, right here in our hometown.

If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will 💪

In today’s email:

  • 🥯 Hole in one: How to royally screw up your bagel business.
  • 📚 Free ebook: Have you ever interviewed your granny?
  • 🏰 Around the city: News, deals, events, and more.

BAGELS ARE IN TROUBLE

The disastrous Bross Bagels situation: Explained.

Just like their (admittedly amazing) bagels, there’s a big hole in the middle of Edinburgh’s darling sandwich company.

And that hole is gaping. It’s a huge gaping, gushing hole.

And that gushing hole is squirting money.

Because they’re in financial problems.

Just read the story.

On its face, it seems like a fairytale. Larah Bross (sometimes called “Mama Bross” which is weird), a plucky middle-aged entrepreneur and comedian from Montreal makes her way over to Auld Reekie in 2017, after spending a few years living in New York.

She notices that, unlike the Big Apple (that’s what every New Yorker calls New York), there aren’t any great bagel shops in Edinburgh - the closest thing is Gregg’s sausage rolls.

Who would possibly try to dethrone our national beige food?

Mama Bross, that’s who. She decides to set up a bagel shop, first in Portobello, where it immediately becomes a huge hit (would’ve been an even huger hit if she’d done the obvious and stuck a sausage roll through the bagel hole and created a Sausagel. Bagesage?).

Over the next few years, Larah became something of a small-“c" celebrity in Edinburgh, with her face in the local papers celebrating her company’s rapid expansion.

And expand it certainly did, with its original flagship store in Portobello becoming one of 6 locations across the city.

But expansion comes with risks, and in 2023 it was discovered that the company was in pretty huge financial trouble. Bross Bagels was in debt to the tune of £1.2 million.

Larah Bross has restructured the company, setting up a new business called Hot Mama Bagels (wtf) and basically sold Bross’s assets to this new company as a way to save jobs and continue operations.

It all sounds like finance nerd stuff to me, but from what we understand, rebranding with a sexier name and moving money into a different bank account isn’t how you get out of debt. If it was I’d be living in a mansion in Stockbridge with a driver’s license that said Juicyboy Thunderbuns.

From some of our light surfing across the World Wide Web, we’ve found some folks on the r/Edinburgh subreddit who think the whole thing seems a bit sketch:

"A reporter went to one of the "new" stores and the receipt had the Bross details on it. Not an expert but I believe what they are doing is illegal.” (Reddit)

"You know its a f!&$in con job. Collected 20% VAT on all sales, collected NI deducted from employees wages and didn't pay up to hmrc. That's tax money this country needs. I get it, some business go to s#!t, but at least have the decency to say sorry and walk away… It's just about legal. Ethically corrupt as f%&k, but if you pay a half decent accountant they can flirt and get you pretty close to the line of legality." (Reddit)

The future of the company…

…is unknown for now, but personally I hope they sort it out. There aren’t many savoury foods you can mime having sex with to get a fake laugh out of your girlfriend who’s this close to breaking up with you.

Is it an isolated incident?

It’s no secret that a lot of businesses have been struggling since the pandemic.

Before their financial struggles came to light, Bross had started a “Share Holer” (geddit?) crowdfunding scheme, allowing us lowly members of the public to invest either £100 or £1000 (depending on how lowly you are) to go toward the creation of a brand new custom-built bakery.

A similar crowdfunding campaign was launched by Wings (the lazily-named but also super delicious chicken wing place on Old Fishmarket Close) in 2020, in an attempt to keep the place running, amid the economic troubles.

The owner, Adam Hepburn, has been fined almost a quarter of a million pounds by HMRC, for failing to comply with tax obligations. On top of other outstanding bills, the company owes a total of more than £690,000.

It’s unknown if Wings will move their money to a new Monzo account and rebrand to Breasts, but if it happens, we’ll let you know.

The moral of the story:

Just go to Gregg’s.


FREE RESOURCE

Have you ever interviewed your grandparents?

If you have loved ones who are always talking about how much happier they were back before electricity was invented, you should probably interview them about their life story because they won’t be around forever.

Here’s a free ebook that tells you everything you need to know about making a “Lifereel" — a documentary about the life story of someone you love.

It shows you how to digitise home movies, scan family photos, set up a video interview, and tons more. And it’s FREE, what are you waiting for!?


🐉
New shop alert: A question for all the men out there - do you want to be like Henry Cavill? Of course you do! So why not head down to the new board game shop that’s opened up in Leith. It has Dungeons and Dragons, Catan, and probably other stuff such as maybe chess!

WHAT'S THE CHAT?

Crazy weather has been causing disruptions across Scotland, especially to train services, with ScotRail warning some passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary. There’s even been loss of life after huge flooding, and homes in Brechin have been evacuated

📜 If you’re a history buff, please keep that to yourself, but also here’s a cool deal for you dweebs. Historic Environment Scotland is offering free admission to participating Historic Scotland visitor attractions, on the first Sunday of each month. The offer runs from now until March 3rd 2024, when you’ll have to start paying to see where Walter Scott stepped on a twig or whatever.

🐼 Panda & Sons was recognised as the only Scottish venue on the prestigious ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ list. Despite not actually being run by an impotent Chinese bear (or its offspring), it’s a pretty sick place and you should go if you’ve never been.

🎃 Halloween is coming: If you’re not a freaking wimp and you like skeletons and goblins and stuff, then why not take your whole family to a cool Halloween event like the Pumpkin Festival at Kilduff Farm, the Torchlight Maze at Carnie Fruit Farm, or see the fireworks show at Kirkliston.

🇮🇳 Dusherra Festival: The largest Dusherra Festival outside India returns to Calton Hill in Edinburgh, celebrating Lord Rama's victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana. I have no clue what any of that means but it sounds fun!


DON'T MISS THIS

🍕
Homies Pizza is a new pizza place in town, and the Reekie team have been there and can confirm that the pizza is very good. It’s spongy, denser than you might think, and smaller than than you might think, too. But it tastes bomb so if you’re looking for a place to get pizza, give it a try.

AROUND THE 'BURGH

📼 On this week: In 1920, Edinburgh and Leith merged together in holy matrimony. Once separate burghs (some Leith folk still see it that way), they created a new metropolitan area as complete equals. Except it’s still called Edinburgh so idk seems like we know who calls the shots around here.

🍺 That’s cool: Some absolute legend has made a website where you can check the price of beer in pubs all across Edinburgh, and leave a review of your own. Whoever has the most reviews at the end of the month gets a free pint, courtesy of the developer. Maybe it’s encouraging alcoholism, but goddammit I’m gonna get that free pint.

👀 Video: The Demise of The Edinburgh Tram. The still-under-construction tramlines were started before I was born, and now I’m 134 years old. But did you know that Edinburgh had trams all over the city once upon a time?

🔎 That’s interesting: The plans for a new development on Dundas Street have been revealed, looks v swanky. Offices, rental apartments and buy-to-own homes are planned. Tbh, anything’s better than that gross old RBS building. Any brutalism fans, don’t @ me.

🐼 Aww man: The Edinburgh Zoo pandas are heading home back to China at the end of the year. They’ll surely be bullied by the other pandas for the weird accents they’ve picked up.


MEME

Source: Reddit

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