Irvington bakery started with just a little dough

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The Indianapolis Star
By: Zoe Sandvig Erler
September 30, 2010

Last fall, Corey Rutland and Tess Ireland started out with just $400 and a dream.

Now, they own the bustling Roll With It Bakery at 5539 E. Washington St., one of the latest additions to Irvington's up-and-coming streetscape.

Although the couple -- who met while working as chefs at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown -- didn't have much money, Rutland tapped into an Individual Development Account program he learned about while earning his general educational development certificate at John H. Boner Community Center on the Near Eastside.

Under the program, the Boner Center agrees to a match of 3-to-1 for every dollar that individuals who can meet certain income guidelines invest toward their education, home or business ownership. The program is a joint venture of the Boner Center and Community Choice Federal Credit Union.

"We always wanted our own place," Rutland said. "(Tess) pushed me, and then everything just started falling into place."

Rutland put $400 into an IDA and walked away with $2,000, which the couple immediately invested in kitchen equipment.

After noticing a "for rent" sign at a Washington Street retail space, Rutland and Ireland approached the owners, who agreed to let them set up shop rent-free until Jan. 1. They signed the lease by October and were in business by December.

They've added lunch items to their bakery menu, hired three staff members, and watched their business grow to 70 or 80 customers per day.

Amandula Henry, director of the Irvington Development Organization, said Roll With It is one of the more successful storefronts to enter the Irvington business district.

"They're finally starting to pay themselves, which is really nice for a small business, because it's almost unheard of in the food-service industry," she said.

Twelve years ago, Irvington's sleepy downtown began to get a boost, when the Dufour's eatery grew into a storefront. The Legend cafe and Lazy Daze Coffee House joined the scene not long afterward.

Since then, East Washington Street has welcomed a bevy of new shops, many of which received grants from the development organization to improve their facilities. Roll With It received a grant for its storefront sign.

The store's charming facade is matched by a cozy interior of a few clustered tables, mint green walls and a view into the kitchen behind the counter, where Corey spends 16 hours a day whipping up everything from multigrain bread to cream puffs to chicken salad.

The $2.50 baguettes spurred customer and Irvington local Stan Denski to start a Facebook fan page on the bakery's behalf, which now has more than 400 followers.

"I love Paris, and when I walk down Washington (Street) with a long loaf of bread sticking out from under my arm, I can almost hear 'La Vie En Rose' on an accordion in the background," Denski said. "These are, in my opinion, the best baguettes in Indianapolis."

Rutland said the couple owe their success to the community's support.

"I think we wouldn't be as far along as we are now if we weren't in Irvington."

For more information, log on to the bakery's website at http://www.rollwith itbakery.net/.

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This page contains a single entry by CFED published on October 1, 2010 3:55 PM.

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