Big Sky Bagels owners & Hallie and Bette Brown
make cameo appearances in Super Bowl commercial
For many of us, watching the Super Bowl is all about the commercials. This year’s Super Bowl lineup of commercials included one aired only in northwest Montana that featured a cast of Montanans–and some with Cut Bank ties.
The commercial was for Whitefish Credit Union and was entitled, “What We Do Pays Dividends.” It featured first responders, regular working people, families, friends and local businesspeople, all who are still living their lives to the best of their abilities, even though the circumstances from the past year have made that a little tougher.
Many familiar, local faces were featured, including a few from Cut Bank–Lizzie Webb and her husband Scoob Decker and the mother-daughter duo of Bette and Hallie Brown.
Lizzie and Scoob were featured at their home in Kila, about 20 minutes from Kalispell. Out of their home, they operate their new, but very popular bagel business, Big Sky Bagels. In the commercial, there is a shot of Lizzie in the kitchen with bagels and Scoob is outside with their horses in and around the barn area.
The Brown’ were chosen to be in the commercial as a mother-daughter duo enjoying time at a Columbia Falls coffee shop, Odd Fellows Coffee. Bette lives in Columbia Falls and Hallie and her partner Trevor, live in the Flathead area.
“Even though we are just a few seconds, it is so exciting to see yourself on TV. It was so cool!” exclaimed Lizzie. “We kept it a secret from everyone until a week or so ago, except for Scoob’s parents to ask permission to use their property and, of course, Hallie Brown to thank her for telling us about the casting call.”
Lizzie added, “We didn’t want to get our hopes up that we would actually make it into the commercial, but on Monday before the Super Bowl, we got a confirmation that we would be in the ad.”
“We are in a couple of ‘blink and you missed it’ spots in both the coffee shop and Nucleus in Columbia Falls,” shared Hallie. “It was awesome getting to work with my mom. We had a blast slipping and sliding all over as it was incredibly icy the day we shot the commercial.”
There is both a 30-second and 60-second version of the commercial. You can see the commercials by logging on to https://youtu.be/kRuG10T5nPg for the 30 second ad and for the 60-second ad use https://youtu.be/pfOx1LefZOM.
Last October, Hallie posted a casting call for local folks in northwestern Montana who might be interested in being in the commercial.
“They wanted real Montanans and had a list of people and professions they were looking for. Scoob and I fit quite a few of the descriptions, but they also had a section where you could fill in your own description. So, I put ‘baker’ on my application. We submitted some headshots and sent off the application,” explained Lizzie.
She continued, “That seemed to pique their interest. When they found out that we bake from our log home on an elk ranch on top of a mountain, it was pretty clear they wanted us in the commercial. We also have horses and one of the descriptions they were looking for was outdoorsy, rancher, horseman, and we have a beautiful barn they wanted to use.”
The film crews showed up to shoot pieces and parts of the commercial with both Lizzie and Scoob and the Browns and well, as they say, the rest is history. They are now famous, local celebrities, with faces in a commercial during one of the biggest events on TV, the Super Bowl.
Bette was a teacher in the Cut Bank School system for 28 years. When she retired in 2014, she moved to Columbia Falls. Her daughter, Hallie graduated from Cut Bank High School in 2000 and she and her partner Trevor have been traveling and working in different places in Colorado and New Mexico before settling in the Flathead valley area. She works for Pursuit-Glacier Park Collection in the Human Resources department and Trevor works at Kalispell Regional Medical Center in the Critical Care Unit.
Both Lizzie and Scoob were raised in Montana. Lizzie was rasied in Cut Bank. Both worked in theatre for a number of years and suddenly found themselves out of a theater job when the pandemic hit the nation.
Last year, Lizzie realized that her sourdough starter was overflowing so she started thinking “of things I could make besides loaves of bread. I absolutely love bagels, so I gave it a shot.”
Once she shared them with friends and family, the unanimous response was, “You have to sell those!”
From day one, it has been Lizzie and Scoob baking bagels from their home kitchen, packaging the bagels, marketing and delivering the bagels. And according to Lizzie, “We are still going strong!”
They have made a few adjustments, streamlined a few of the processes and have found what works, what doesn’t and through it all, just kept on baking. Following Big Sky Bagels on Facebook is the best way to check out all their flavors of the week or month and also the best way to place an order. They make deliveries to Kalispell and Missoula every week and to Cut Bank the first week of the month.
“We do have big dreams, but for now, we are keeping things simple. That is some advice we received from a well-known baker who started her career as a cottage food business–stay small for as long as you can,” recited Lizzie.