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Help A Roadie

Buy Cinnamon Rock N Rollz

Article by Paul Stanley

Photography by Chrissy Nix Photography

Originally published in Brentwood Lifestyle

What happens when a tour production manager and celebrity hair stylist suddenly find themselves unemployed? They started baking sourdough cinnamon rolls.

Christin and Zito were living creative lives. She, as a hair and makeup professional for A-list celebrities. Zito (who exclusively uses only his last name) working 300 plus days a year as a tour production manager for musical artists and shows. Then came the shutdown. 

"I was on the road with Steve Aoki when the call came to a head home," says Zito. "Our crew loaded the trucks in Cleveland on March 12, en route to Chicago. I had no idea it would be the last show of 2020. Touring was my life for the previous 21 years, so spending more than a couple of days at home seemed strange."

Christin had been equally busy. However, absent Music City's red-carpet events, music video and commercial shoots, her work also abruptly ended. For busy professionals with little time for hobbies, both wanted to find or renew outside interests. 

The result is Rock N Rollz Nashville.

"I've always been into cooking, Zito into baking, especially sourdough bread," explains Christin. "One day Zito decided to make some sourdough cinnamon rolls and thought, 'dang, these are great.'" 

The couple figured by working in their home kitchen, they could make extra "grocery money" by selling the sweet sourdough concoction to neighbors. The demand for their tasty rolls soon stretched the limits of their home kitchen, so they purchased a commercial-grade oven. Once they realized even the best home mixer couldn't meet the new demand, finding a commercial baking space became a priority.

"Fitting a 200-pound, commercial mixer into your home kitchen isn't easy," Zito emphasizes. "That's when we realized we needed a commercial kitchen space and found a fantastic location at Citizen Kitchens."

"We work in creative professions alongside creative people. Zito and I want to encourage people who're struggling during the pandemic to move forward and pursue things," Christin says. "Don't give up. Find something else to pour your passion into."

Rock N Rollz donates 50 cents of every $5 cinnamon roll sale to MusiCares, a Nashville nonprofit that helps those in the music industry who need financial, social and medical assistance. Through early November, more than $18,000 from the sale of Rock N Rollz tasty rolls has gone to MusiCares.

"Hundreds of touring musical artists, along with even more people ranging from musicians, to sound and lighting professionals, merchandisers, to part-time venue employees are suffering financially without tour work," Zito passionately notes. "That's how the concept of 'buy a roll, help a roadie,' began. When we needed help, we hired former roadies. When we want to give up, we can't, because too many people need our help."

Roll N Rollz sells individual sourdough cinnamon rolls for $5 each. A "Z-Pac," or six bake-at-home rolls, is available for $27. The rolls must be pre-ordered online each Wednesday by 5 p.m. CST. Delivery is by pick-up only on Saturdays and Sundays at East Nashville, Richland Farmers Market, Franklin, Mount Juliet and pop-up locations announced online.

"Lots of people are waiting for their normal life to return," adds Christin. "Until then, we encourage everyone to find happiness and help others. That's what Zito and I did, and we're loving every minute of the experience."