Questioning the Locals: Jessie Braun

free wheelin' discussions with local folks

V1 Staff, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

You may know the Muffin Man but do you know the Bagel Lady? Jessie Braun makes all sorts of beautiful bagels for the Valley (and Volume One)! Whether the flavors be Everything, Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, Lucky Charms, Strawberry Rhubarb, or more, she’s bringing smiles one bagel at a time. Jessie dreams of being the best bagel baker East of the Mississippi but also West of Lake Michigan. You can order your own by messaging her on Facebook: Jessie Braun.

I am my happiest and most fulfilled when I share wholesome, delicious food with my friends, family, and fellow EC Foodies.

What’s your passion?

Food and bartering! Bartering is such an awesome way of sharing talents, goods, and services. The idea of swapping a family photo session for a quarter hog, or a dozen bagels for an hour of consultation, so many options. It would give me great satisfaction to offer bartering as a payment method in my future business.

What place in town considers you a “regular”?

Hands down Menomonie Market Food Co-op, though they probably just refer to me as #3545...

What is your favorite piece of local trivia?

I do think it’s fascinating that the Third Ward was a Driving Track back in the day, like-late 1800s. The curve on McKinley to Roosevelt follows the original track.

Death bed, one meal from a local restaurant, what would it be?

Eggs Benny from Grand Ave Cafe, it occupies a luxury suite in my soul.

Water Street or Downtown?

Downtown. It is entirely a vibe. Nothing better than bopping through boutiques on Barstow after smashing a red eye from Shift.

South side or north side?

North side. The neighborhood folks come together more frequently and more genuinely than any other part of town I’ve lived in (which has been all four sides of town). The only exception is the South side in Chippewa Falls, Maple Street, to be exact.

If you could rename Eau Claire with a different French name, what would it be?

Beignet Eau Gazeuse, I just think it would really work, plus it’s fun to hear the Google lady say it. 

Jessie's Shoutouts

Shift Cyclery & Coffee Bar. “From day one to now, no week has been complete without a red eye, leigewaffle, and a smile from the fantastic crew at Shift.”

Eau Claire Farmers Market. “These are my people. This is my food. Hey look – egg rolls!”

Eau Claire River. “You’re not an Eau Clarian until you’ve floated down the Eau Claire River. and yes, I mean the Eau Claire River into Phoenix Park, not Phoenix Park to Hobbs.”

If you or someone you know would make a good candidate for Questioning the Locals, send us a message with their contact info and a little bit about them!