By JENNIFER MEIER
Melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon caramel doughnuts put Rise ’n Roll Bakery on the map.
And that map may just show six or seven more Rise ’n Roll stores in the near future.
Four years after moving from the front porch of a quiet Amish home to an 8,250-square-foot facility sporting a bright red roof, the owners have found that those doughnuts are no passing fad.
In fact, shelves full of homemade doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, pies and breads have become favorites of both locals and returning tourists.
In addition, the bakery offers a full-line deli, including breakfast foods, a bulk food line, box lunches, gifts, candy, jams, jellies, bread spreads, salsas, coffees, granola, canned fruit and vegetables, noodles, mixes, butters, cheese and ice cream.
And with the taste of success, Rise ’n Roll is going to franchise.
“The idea to do this really wasn’t ours,” said Assistant Manager Dewayne Kurtz., “There was a man in Nappanee who wanted to sell our product. It took him about two years to convince us to open a store there.”
That store, located at Ind. 19 and C.R. 50, has been open and doing well since May 2012.
“We’ve had lots of requests over the years,” Kurtz said. “Some of them are from pretty far away.”
To ensure that the products can be delivered fresh every morning, Kurtz is looking to open six or seven locations within a 50 to 60 mile radius.
“We are looking a places like Niles, South Bend, Portage, Three Rivers, Kendallville, Warsaw, Angola and the west side of Fort Wayne,” Kurtz said. “We feel like to ensure good service and quality products — we don’t want to go much further than that.”
The franchises will create significantly more work for the business’s 65 employees.
“Right now we start production at 2 a.m.,” Kurtz said. “That will probably change to 10 or 11 p.m.”
The company also plans on building an addition to the current structure to handle the extra production as well as adding a small fleet of delivery trucks.
“I think this is a great opportunity for a few folks,” said Marketing Manager Jeff Petermann. “I really don’t think we will have trouble filling those six or seven spots. In fact I think people ought to check into this sooner rather than later.”
Kurtz said the company’s goal is to have the franchising completed within six months to a year. The addition will be built and new employees hired when the growth from franchising warrants those developments, according to Kurtz.
Peterman developed a website for the company, www.risenrollbakery.com, created a Facebook page that already boasts 62,000 likes and has added a business page on Pinterest.
“These people aren’t just clicking the ‘like’ button; they are coming back time and again. We’ve got some very loyal customers, Petermann said.
The Pinterest page, as well as the website, features photographs of the bakery items and other products.
“People get excited about doughnuts when they can see them — now if I could just create a way for them to smell them, too!” Petermann said. “I’ve never done work anywhere that smells this good all the time.”
What makes Rise ’n Roll products so popular are several key ingredients, Kurtz said.
“Everything is made right here. Not just the doughnuts, pies, cookies, cakes and bread, but the sub buns and the pizzas — we fry the bacon and cut all the vegetables,” Kurtz said. “We also have a lot of employee loyalty. I really enjoy the people I work with. We work as a team and we make sure every employee enjoys what they do. That makes for excellent service.”
Stores hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Rise ’n Roll is closed on Sundays. Some baked goods can also be purchased at Topeka Pizza, Village Inn, Lux Café, Neighbors County Market, Callahan’s, Bullard Farm Market, Harding’s grocery stores in Middlebury and Bristol, Cristano Pizza, Shipshewana Flea Market and Auction; Kercher’s Orchard and Crystal Valley Catering.
For franchise information and an application, visit the website or firstname.lastname@example.org.