Local bakery could be expanding in Michiana

By: Frank Waugh Email
By: Frank Waugh Email

A local business has found a recipe for sweet success. It involves hard work mixed with a humble start and a healthy dose of quality.

Oh, and a little extra sugar never hurts.

With a bright red roof and the sweet smell of cinnamon rolls that travels well beyond the parking lot, Rise ‘n Roll is tough to miss.

The bakery is located on US 20 between Shipshewana and Middlebury and has become a favorite – and not just for folks in Michiana.

“It doesn't matter if you are in Middlebury, Indiana or Chicago, llinois, people recognize quality when they taste it,” said Tom Hart, director of market sales at the bakery.

And it’s that quality that has kept customers coming back for more to this Amish-born business that began in 2001.

“They started out by baking their baked goods out of their kitchen (and) selling them off of their front porch,” said Hart. “As the word grew about the quality of what they had to offer, they ended up putting up a modern Amish bakery.”

To meet the demand, modern equipment was needed and the bakery was subsequently sold to a non-Amish owner. But the original founders still run the operation today – cooking up their popular recipes.

“The two things that kind of define who Rise ‘n Roll are would probably be the cinnamon carmel donuts and our brittle type of candy that we call crunch. ... those are our really big hitters,” said Hart.

And hits they are – especially crunch.

When they make crunch, every step of the process is done in house starting with mixing at 2 a.m. and frying as soon as they are proofed.

Crunch is cranked out by the pound. In fact, during the fall they will make upwards of 1,000 lbs. a day. The tasty treat is comprised of butter, sugar and nuts. It takes a special touch to get the right consistency.

“(We check) to make sure it is just right,” Hart said.

The crunch ultimately lands on a conveyor where it is doused with chocolate then cooled. Pieces are broken and packaged by hand – a trend you will see throughout the bakery.

“Every baked good that you see here, the pies, the cookies, the donuts the donut holes, cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, sticky buns, the list just goes on and on,” Hart said.

And if you don’t see one of your favorites, just ask.

“We are always trying new things,” Hart replied. “We try to listen to the customers… and when enough people speak up about something, we will give it a try.”

With seven franchises available you don’t have to travel far to enjoy all the sweet treats.

“We wanted to make Rise ‘n Roll a place that if you were anywhere in the region that this is a have to stop,” Hart added. “If everything else got wiped off the docket, you had to stop at Rise ‘n Roll.”

Hart says that thanks to farmer’s markets in Chicago, their following in the Windy City is equally as big as Michiana.

If you would like to learn more about Rise ‘n Roll, we have a link on the Big Red Bar.


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