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Rise 'N Roll Mishawaka is nearly ready to open

Display cases have yet to be filled, but the new Rise ’N Roll Mishawaka is well on its way to turning out the popular local brand of doughnuts, specialty food items and ice cream.

Located at 3915 Grape Road, the storefront once home to Kabob House has received a complete overhaul in preparation for the opening — which is coming soon, but doesn’t have a date set yet. 

This will be the fourth franchise for the Middlebury-based bakery.

“Everything that the Amish do, they do it to perfection,” said owner and franchisee Sue Fuller. “Even though they’re increasing production, the quality and care that goes into each doughnut can’t be compared to another company.”

The store’s signature doughnut, a hexagonal fried offering from the heavens, will come in seven varieties, with a daily yield projected to be near 3,000. Apple fritters, pecan sticky buns, cinnamon rolls and cream filled doughnuts will also be available.

“Our cream filled doughnuts are really heavy,” said Fuller. “I mean, when you pick one up, it doesn’t have just a little dab of (whipped) cream or Bavarian cream in it. Your hand almost drops from the weight of it.”

Rise ’N Roll Mishawaka
3915 Grape Road, Mishawaka

6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday;
7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
Lunch: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Fuller’s interest in entering the Rise ’N Roll business began when her brother introduced her to the richness of the Rise ’N Roll doughnut.

“He had brought home a box of doughnuts and I happened to stop at his house and he said, ‘Here, you have to try one of these doughnuts.’ I tried one and I just fell in love,” Fuller said.

That fateful bite was two and a half years ago. Since then, it’s been a lengthy process to proprietorship.

Fuller and her husband, Tom, applied for franchisee licensing in 2013, but were initially turned down. The couple re-applied in April 2014, were approved by September and secured the lease to the location in December last year.

“I felt passionate about the product and the company and what it represents,” Fuller said. “Trying to bring that Amish feel up here just drew me in.”

Doling out decadent desserts is a drastic occupational shift for Fuller, who recently wrapped a 31-year career as an orthopedic assistant. The advent of recent medical technology seemed to distance Fuller from her daily contact with patients. It’s the constant customer interaction that Fuller was missing most.

“I’m really anxious to build that kind of rapport with the customers here, like I had with my patients there,” Fuller said.

Crafted by Amish carpenters from Middlebury’s County Line Cabinetry, the Mishawaka store’s sleek sections of naturally finished wood carsiding mirror the interior of the original Middlebury location.

Multiple refrigeration units will store sliced-to-order meats, freshly made subs, soups, sandwiches, soft-serve ice cream with eight dipping options and specialty meals such as a turkey and bacon whole grain wrap and the Dieter’s Delight veggie wrap.

Waist-high wooden display boxes are being built upon what used to be the area of the Kabob House.

“I guess they had belly dancing here on the stage and we found some tapes when we were renovating and cleaning,” said a giggling Fuller.

Instead of supporting scantily clad gyrations, the floor space will feature artisan jellies, jams, salsas, homemade ketchup, pickles, a toffee crunch, pies and cookies. The selection of sweet and savory side items appear as an added bonus to the company’s increasingly popular pastries.

Tom Fuller believes it won’t take much to win over devotees of other local doughnut distributors. 

“It’s a different texture and taste. With just one bite, people go, ‘Wow,’” he said. 

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