An eagerly anticipated new foodservice concept featuring bagels and pizza has opened in the Los Angeles suburbs. Certified food scientist, chef and business owner Brad Kent introduces the new Highland Park restaurant Bagel+Slice, while looking forward to sharing his love for making the world a better place through his delicious pizzas and bagels.

Taking pizza to the next level, Kent and co-founders previously launched Blaze Pizza and by 2015 built the concept into become one of the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant chains. Kent continues to work with Blaze Pizza as chief culinary officer and remains a pizza maven with an eye always toward the planet.

“The business I designed is more about doing good for the world than making bagels and pizza,” Kent says. “The impact of that can be enormous.”

Bagel+Slice will pay all team members above minimum wage and will maintain a lower profit margin to keep profits at a maximum of 15% profit, according to the company. Employees receive higher rates of compensation while consumers enjoy more affordable products with quality ingredients. Bagel+Slice is proud to source many ingredients from local artisans and partners with Occidental College in Los Angeles on educational projects. Bagel+Slice is also an approved vendor that will accept Bengal Bucks so students can use their dining card while visiting.

“We are committed to providing jobs for our community that pay better than minimum wage and hope to be able to offer exceptional employment benefits that would not normally be offered in a typical small business," Kent says. “We are also committed to charging the lowest possible prices for the highest quality products that incorporate premium ingredients to make our very familiar foods accessible to all. Our commitment to a lower profit margin ensures that we can provide affordable, high-quality meals for all our neighbors.”

Environmentally conscious

One important contribution is sourcing regenerative organic farmed ingredients. In addition, Bagel+Slice uses ozone, an all-natural FDA and USDA recognized safe disinfectant and sanitizer that is naturally produced. Bagel+Slice is active in participating in the composting program at Occidental College.

During the pandemic, Kent knew that protecting the world was more important than ever and immersed himself in research, careful planning, and advanced work in sourcing local and regenerative ingredients for his new venture, Bagel+Slice. The concept for Bagel+Slice is simple: reasonably priced extraordinary bagels and pizza all day in a warm neighborhood setting, focused on sustainability, community involvement, health and safety. This restaurant represents community, social awareness and environmentally friendly solutions with a commitment to health consciousness for both their customers' well-being as well as the planet's natural resources.

“Our customer say that they don’t know what we put in our bagels, but it’s addictive,” he says. “I think what your body is craving food that is not highly processed.”

Production techniques

Paying homage to the historic New York City bagel makers, Bagel+Slice rolls their bagels by hand (not a machine), boils the bagels (instead of steaming them), bakes their bagels on a burlap lined board (not parchment paper) and bakes their bagels in a hearth oven (not a convection oven).

Bagel+Slice is gluten-free friendly and their doughs for bagels and pizzas are all vegan. Kent created his own brand of gluten-free flour to use for Bagel+Slice’s gluten-free options. Kent has also developed delicious plant-based recipes, making many of his own vegan recipes using whole food ingredients that minimize food waste and maximize flavor.