No more worries about rising before dawn so you can grab a good spot in the bagel line. No more nasty stare from the guy behind you as you snap up the last poppy bagel and slip it into your bag.

Scratch Baking Co., the South Portland shop whose bagels are so wildly popular they had to set limits on the number a customer can buy at once, is expanding.

The bakery announced on its Facebook page Friday that it is moving its bagel- and bread-baking operation out of Willard Square and into the old Getty station on the corner of Sawyer Street and Broadway. The garage of the station will become a “toast a bagel bar” with seating.

The announcement puts to rest months of rumors and speculation, and finally provides some much-needed bagel relief.

“People need more bagels,” said Sonja Swanberg, co-owner of the bakery. “Several customers have told us the mystique of standing in line on a hot July morning has worn off.”

Swanberg said she couldn’t guarantee that the new location will make the bagel lines disappear, but having a bigger oven in the Getty space should at least shorten the waiting time for a fresh, hot Maine sea salt bagel. She estimated “very conservatively” that the bakery will be able to churn out 25 percent more bagels a day.


“We’re going to do the best we can,” she said. “We will be making more. We just don’t know exactly how much more at this point.”

Swanberg emphasized that nothing will change at the Willard Square location other than the baking of the bread and bagels being moved off-site. In fact, this move will give the pastry team at Scratch a little more breathing room, she said, so they can do more.

“Right now, space-wise for the pastry team, things are really tight, especially during the summer,” Swanberg said. “Often, at the busiest times, we run out of a lot of things, or we turn away special orders.”

Swanberg described the bagel and toast bar as “very low key.”

“We’re not going to do breakfast sandwiches or lunch sandwiches,” she said. “It’s just going to be straight bagels and toast with toppings.”

Swanberg said they decided to lease the old gas station because they didn’t want to have a new location that was too far away from the original or “just tucked into an industrial park somewhere. It had to be a space that sort of fit with who we were.”

Scratch is aiming to open its new location by midsummer.


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