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Potsdam Bagelry gets new owners, plans to produce artisan coffee

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POTSDAM — Artisan coffee culture is making its debut at the Bagelry this summer with the help of new owners Gabriel A. Ockrin and B. Ryan Dunphey, two men who left behind careers in corporate America to follow a shared passion.

The partners plan to infuse the long-standing Potsdam business with big-city coffee culture, while staying faithful to north country lifestyles.

Owner Gerald F. Lambert was contacted earlier this year by Mr. Ockrin and Mr. Dunphey, who said they were eager to purchase the 32-year-old business.

Mr. Lambert, who has owned the Bagelry, 9 Market St., since 2002, recently has been considering moving out of the area and was willing to sell. By mid-May they had a deal.

Mr. Lambert, who had been carrying on a tradition of traditional bagel making introduced by the business’s founders, was optimistic about the new direction.

“I think they have a lot of very good ideas,” he said.

Mr. Dunphey, formerly of San Francisco, worked in technology and marketing. He recently moved to the north country to be closer to his wife’s family, and he said he loves Northern New York’s assets. “There’s something about the culture that is slower,” Mr. Dunphey said. “We love the pace.”

He brings a love for small batch coffee culture that he found in San Francisco and is hoping to marry big-city style with the culture of the Adirondacks.

Mr. Ockrin, a graduate of Clarkson University and a native of the Adirondacks, chose to stay in the area after college and work for Alcoa, Massena, first as an engineer and then in a management role. After five years with Alcoa, he said, he wanted to take a leap and start his own business.

The Bagelry features coffee brand Park Bros. Coffee Roasters, which is produced according to the third-wave coffee philosophy. Those who ascribe to third-wave treat coffee like fine wine, focusing on small-batch roasting and striving to bring out the unique elements of the beans. The practice has been compared with microbrewing beer, and is referred to alternately as “micro roasting.”

To produce their coffee, the partners have opened a roastery in Potsdam’s Industrial Park behind the Valero gas station on outer Elm Street, and are selling bags of Park Bros. to First Crush Bistro, 32 Market St. Coffee lovers also can stop in for a cup of Park Bros. at the Bagelry, Mr. Ockrin said.

The new brand debuted at the Potsdam Summer Festival, where festivalgoers sampled cold-brewed nitrogenated coffee, a keg-dispensed beverage that is a smoother blend, according to Mr. Dunphey. He said experimentation with such methods is another passion that he and Mr. Ockrin want to share.

The Bagelry was founded by Eliot H. and Judith R. Rich in 1982 and was run by the pair for 17 years.

Regulars and fans of the Bagelry can rest reassured that the business’s bagels will not change.

“We understand the fact that people love and know the Bagelry as it is,” Mr. Ockrin said.

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