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Dare to Try Something Different: The Dream of The Rolling Pin Bake Shop

By Paul Rowe

Fourteen years ago, Tanya Laiter had a dream to try something different. In December 2002, The Rolling Pin Bake Shop opened as a small-scale, humble, family-friendly neighborhood bakery. Since then, this shop has grown to offer deliciously unique treats for every occasion and celebration.

"I opened the shop because I thought I could try something different in my life," says Laiter. "Being an artist at heart, baking is in my nature. After all, baking is just a different kind of art: edible art!"

Browsing The Rolling Pin's menu, it becomes easy to see how Laiter's artistic eye has left its mark. Laiter has made it her personal mission to provide quirky desserts capable of inspiring the hearts and palates of customers looking for something different.

"A few of our best-selling large cookies are our Black and White cookie, which is a soft cake style cookie have dipped in a vanilla icing and half dipped in a smooth and rich chocolate ganache," says Laiter. "Our other customer favorite is a Chocolate Whopper. This is a softer chocolate, kind of like a brownie, cookie that has a bit of espresso, chocolate chips and some walnuts in it."

Even the little ones walk away with inspired delicacies here. Kiddos especially crave The Rolling Pin's own Fondant cookies, which come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and animals, depending on the time of year, and go perfectly with a tall, cold glass of milk.

Just as Laiter dreamt to make something different and brought it to life, she similarly intends to bring the dreams of her customers to life. "Our motto is, 'you dream it- we can make it,' and we truly believe that," says an enthusiastic Laiter. One look at The Rolling Pin's resume of custom treats created for events as diverse as baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings gives credence to its motto.

The Rolling Pin's selection is even more diverse than the various events it has helped bring to life. The bakery offers several varieties of cakes and pastries that can't be found at other locations. With advance notice, the bakery is capable of churning out Marzipan cakes, Honey Tortes, Piroshki's, Russian dumplings, specialty breads, cookies, cupcakes, and much, much more. Nevertheless, despite this smorgasbord of baked goods, cake decorating is the bread and butter of the shop.

"One of our best selling cakes is the Spotted Cow, featuring two layers of chocolate cake with a layer of vanilla cake in the middle. It's filled with chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream, then coated in the vanilla buttercream, topped with chocolate ganache spots, and topped with more ganache," says Laiter.

Another top customer favorite is The Rolling Pin's signature strawberry shortcake, a delicious vanilla cake filled with homemade strawberry puree and sliced strawberries, covered with delicious smooth whip cream with graham cracker at the bottom and topped with strawberries. "With so many great flavors, it's hard to choose just one," says Laiter.

The café's breakfast and lunch menu is equally chock-full of menu selections. Two breakfast favorites include the biscuits and gravy made with a Rolling Pin signature herb and cheese biscuit, and the apple cheddar omelet with an option of sausage, bacon, or ham. These delicacies are available everyday, while Saturday mornings harbor delicacies that no foodie in their right mind can pass up. "That's when we make our doughnuts and our enormous cinnamon rolls," says Laiter. "Our apple fritters, butter pecan, and maple bacon doughnuts are addictive."

It is exactly this kind of exquisite variety that allows Laiter's bakery to fulfill its daring mission to dream of something different, perpetually bringing a myriad of tastes and colors to Fitchburg, Wisconsin's already thriving restaurant scene.

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Paul Rowe is a graduate instructor of writing and master's student of Literature at...

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