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June 22, 2020

Sibling’s chef is making the Holy Mother of Bagels

Facing a dearth of small-batch bagels in Adelaide, Aaron Caporn decided to make his own, launching sourdough bagel brand Holy Mother of Bagels.

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  • Words and pictures: Johnny von Einem

There are surprisingly few bagel suppliers in Adelaide.

This was the realisation made by Sibling chef Aaron Caporn, as the café geared up to reopen after a month and a half long COVID shutdown.


Holy Mother of Bagels is available at Sibling 7:30am ’til 3pm Monday to Friday.
96 Gilles Street, Adelaide 5000

The bagel brand also plans to pop up in produce markets soon.


On its return from hibernation, Sibling, which is owned by Caitlin and Nathaniel Morse, planned to welcome customers back with a menu made up of some the café’s most popular dishes – including a bagel.

The bagel was dropped from the menu last year after the café’s bagel wholesaler, The Beigelry, shut up shop. After a short time searching for a suitable replacement, Aaron decided to scrap the bagel from the menu entirely.

“We tried to keep bagels on, but we kept finding suppliers that weren’t up to scratch – not something we were happy to sell,” he says.

Like 98 per cent of Instagram, time off work in isolation led the chef into a wormhole of baking – mostly banana bread and sourdough.

Once Sibling’s reopening date was locked in and the team had decided to bring bagels back onto the menu, Aaron set about fixing the hole in the baked goods market by creating his own – made from sourdough and with a recipe kept as simple as possible.

“We worked on them for a couple of weeks. It didn’t take that long,” Aaron says.

“You actually get a chewy bagel. It doesn’t just taste like air, it tastes like wheat and malt, because that’s what’s in it, and that’s it. Flour, malt, water, and that’s it.”

The result is a “chewy, dense American-style” bagel, which comes in three variations: plain, sesame seed and poppy seed.

Rainy day, bagel away


The bagels are available at Sibling with fillings; Aaron recommends the kimchi, miso mayonnaise, sesame and avocado option. But they’ve also proven popular enough to be eaten as they are.

“We’ve seen people come in, just as is, not toasted, nothing on it, and just go to town on it straight away,” Aaron laughs.

“It’s pretty funny, but they’re having a good time, so it’s all good.”

Aaron’s bagels have garnered such a positive response, he’s decided to launch a business off the back of them: Holy Mother of Bagels.

“We just made them and we were like, ‘They’re pretty good in their own right.’ So we’ll just sell them out of here, then hopefully move into some markets, like the Willunga markets, or the Adelaide Showgrounds,” he says.

Holy Mother of Bagels is currently making around 20 bagels a day and selling them strictly through the Sibling shopfront, but Aaron says the business is scalable, should there be interest from wholesale clients.

“We need a bit of inquiry first, before we go ahead to scale it,” he says.

“It’s not something that we’re going to go hard on straight away, wholesale. But if people want it, why not?”

For now, you can get your small-batch bagel fix at Sibling 7:30am ‘til 3pm Monday to Friday. And keep an eye out at your local market for Holy Mother of Bagels in the near future.

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