When guests attended the one-year anniversary of CB Baked Goods in Marion last week, they had the opportunity to guess how many bierocks and bolsos owner Rachel Collett made in her first year of business.
The answer? 13,618.
Collett, who does all of the baking herself, opened her Main Street storefront July 11, 2016. She offers a variety of baked goods, including two of her main staples, bierocks and bolsos—round pockets of dough filled with anything from the traditional hamburger and cabbage to pizza toppings to scrambled eggs.
Collett’s best-selling bierocks are filled with hamburger, cabbage, onion, cheese, salt and pepper, while bolsos are her unique creation, named after the Spanish word for “purse” or “envelope,” she said.
“My daughter dreamed (the name) up for me because we decided that around here, people are very particular about a bierock,” she said. “A bierock is hamburger and cabbage and onions. That’s what a bierock is, and you dare not call anything else a bierock, because they will correct you.”
Collett offers four varieties of bolsos: pizza, breakfast, Mexican chicken and ham and cheese.
She also offers cinnamon rolls, sticky buns and six varieties of cookies, and said she bakes dinner rolls and muffins by request.
Collett said she makes all of her dough from scratch; one batch calls for seven pounds of flour and will make 65 bierocks, she said. She typically makes at least two, sometimes three, batches of dough each day.
“I can make 150 bierocks a day,” she said. “That’s really not a problem, and then (I) throw in a few pans of cinnamon rolls or some cookies on the side.”
Collett’s baked goods can be easily frozen.
“Before I marketed them to the public, I made sure they all froze, and when they came back out of the freezer, that they still had the same homemade taste and quality, that it didn’t compromise anything,” she said.
Collett first learned to bake by helping her mother in the kitchen.
“My mom was a great baker and a good cook,” she said. “So I just learned a lot from her, I guess.”
Collett was a school cook for six or seven years in Missouri.
“I got my feet wet there of knowing how to cook for large crowds,” she said. “We did a lot of home-baked goods. That was in a day yet when you could still feed the kids home-baked goods.”
She, and husband, Randy, who serves as director of economic development for the city of Marion, moved to Marion in 2014.
Collett substitute taught, she said, adding that her first summer in Marion, she began baking bierocks to sell at the farmers’ market on Wednesday nights.
“I baked a few bierocks and took them over, and they sold,” she said. “The next week I took a few more, and people were standing there waiting, going, ‘Wow, those were really good.’”
She began baking 100 bierocks for the market, and said they would sell out in 15 minutes. Soon, she began to consider opening her own bakery.
“We didn’t have anything in town like that—no bakeries,” she said. “I love to bake, and I thought, why not try it and see.”
It was about that time that Little Pleasures closed its doors in Hillsboro, and Collett bought much of her equipment from there.
The hardest part of the process, she said, was making sure the paperwork was in order.
“It was kind of scary to step off the edge and do it—because I’d thought about it for a long, long time—but now I’m really glad I did,” she said. “It’s been very successful. I’ve been very pleased with the response, and people have been so nice and so supportive.”
CB Baked Goods is located in the CB Wheeler building at 420 E. Main, from which Collett derived the name of her business.
Built by Charles Bourquin Wheeler in December 1909, the building’s second floor became the hospital in 1911. The hospital remained in that location until the early 1950s, she said.
Today, Collett and her husband live on the second floor of the building.
CB Baked Goods is open 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Collett’s kitchen is in full view of customers, allowing her to visit with everyone who walks in the door.
“I didn’t want my kitchen to be in the back so that I had to rush out here to wait on customers,” she said. “Everything is right here, and when they walk in, they see the dough and they see my hands in the flour and they smell the baking.”
Collett accepts special orders for baked goods, but she does not make cakes, cupcakes or pies. She encourages people to call ahead for large orders and during the holiday season. Orders may be placed by calling 620-381-0288 or visiting cbbakedgoods.com.
Collett said she takes pride in serving a quality product and enjoys getting to know her customers.
“I enjoy meeting people, so this is kind of a way to combine a lot of things that I like to do,” she said. “I enjoy the public and meeting people, and I enjoy baking, so it’s a good fit.”