Rick Spielman, co-founder of popular Portland bagel chain Spielman Bagels & Coffee, has died at the age of 76. He passed away in his sleep following complications from Parkinson’s disease on July 5, according to his son Raf Spielman. He was known for his community mindedness, curious personality, and love of foreign films. Spielman is survived by his sons Raf and Kenji Spielman.
Spielman Bagels came into existence somewhat accidentally. Rick Spielman founded his eponymous business with Raf Spielman as a small cafe where they would roast shade-grown coffee in house. In 2011, the duo opened on Southeast Division Street, where Scottie’s Pizza Parlor now resides. Although they were initially made in batches of no more than a dozen daily, their “Portland style” bagel, which is made from a sourdough starter and kettle-boiled, soon stole the show and became the focus of the company.
“It seems so different now than the way that Portland businesses start,” Raf Spielman says. “There was no strategy, no plan, no rollout. It just happened.”