Rolling Scones: a bakery-bistro with a Puerto Rican twist

Scones with flavors like “Blueberry Thrill” and “Ebony and Ivory” sit side by side in a bakery display. International coffee bags frame the walls, and next to a register sits a pledge to environmental sustainability. A Beta fish named Rooney swims in a bowl nearby. Joyce Scott invented her own scone recipe when she worked at The Daily Grind in Elkhart, and she now owns her own business—Rolling Scones—which she describes as a bakery-bistro.

Rolling Scones, located at the Old Bag Factory in Goshen, specializes in baked items like fresh scones and tiramisu brownies, and Scott serves an authentic Puerto Rican meal every first and third Saturday of the month.

“We love the atmosphere down here,” said Scott. “We want to treat everyone like they’re special. Because they are to us…everyone who comes in.”

Scott was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, and moved to Goshen with her family when she was nine years old. She started her baking career at The Daily Grind, a local coffee shop in Elkhart. It was during her three years baking at The Daily Grind that she discovered scones and developed her own recipe that the shop eventually adopted.

“I learned how to make scones and really appreciate them,” Scott said. “I discovered how much I liked them. They’re really an art form.”

After leaving The Daily Grind, friends and family encouraged Scott to keep making scones and she eventually began visiting coffee shops and business with samples to test out the wholesale market.

She received a few accounts, and opened a wholesale business in Nov. 2008. Scott rented the kitchen of Unique Cakes, which owned the downstairs building in which Rolling Scones is currently located. At that point, however, she was baking exclusively for businesses and coffee shops that purchased her scones.

A year later, in Nov. 2009, Unique Cakes vacated the building and Scott had an opportunity to expand her business and open up her own shop, Rolling Scones. The business has done well enough financially that Scott recently hired two employees.

The weekend Puerto Rican meals Scott offers have been gaining momentum. Scott said she initially offered the Puerto Rican meal once a month, but increased to twice a month after customers began coming every Saturday for the international meal.

“They just loved it,” said Scott.

Scott’s husband, Jim, comes in the night before to marinade the chicken and pork, which slow roasts starting at 5:30 a.m. Her mother, Rose Fuentes, cooks beans and red rice with olives and culantro, an herb similar to cilantro. The meal costs $6.99 and comes with organic, mixed greens salad and pan de agua, a common Puerto Rican bread.

“It’s our passion,” said Scott. “It’s a place where people can come if they’ve had a bad day. We want them to leave with a smile.”

Making a difference in the community is one of the reasons Scott chooses primarily local ingredients for their restaurant.

“I found the ingredients do make a big difference,” Scott said.  Rolling Scones only offers organic, locally roasted Ethiopian coffee from Blue Moon Coffee, a local vendor at the Millrace Center Farmer’s Market.

“The money going out is helping support the local economy and we’re so excited about that,” Scott said.

Rolling Scones composts coffee grounds and other food, uses biodegradable paper products in the store and purchases recyclable material for all to-go packaging.

Scott has plenty of ideas for the future of the store.

“I want to do smoothies in the summer, I love those,” said Scott. She plans on adding more international items to her menu—sushi, curry, pitas, African dishes and Italian ice and smoothies in the summer.

“We’re adding slowly,” she said. “We’re not biting off too much too quick.”

Her scones won’t be left behind in her expanding international cuisine, however. Scott is currently working on a recipe for S’mores and pina colada flavored scones.

Future plans also include incorporating live music into the restaurant atmosphere. A piano is now set up, and Scott said a free scone awaits anyone who comes to share live music for an hour or more during an afternoon featuring Puerto Rican cuisine.

“We really want to re-vitalize the Bag Factory area, and music brings everyone together,” Scott said.

Rolling Scones has relied on word-of-mouth for advertising thus far, although orders and information can be found at the business’ website: www.rollingscones.biz.

Scott feels very blessed to have experienced a strong start in her first few months of business. Prayer played a huge role in her journey, she added.

‘“I thought, ‘If this is what God wants me to be doing, doors will open,” she said. “And they did.”

Written by Laura Schlabach

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