Like many of us, Anita Bible-VanVickle is preparing for the holidays. Of course, her preparation might look a little different than yours--she's baking thousands upon thousands of her famous dinner rolls for her newly formed legion of fans in the Kansas City area. Her new storefront at 7715 NW Prairie View Road has quickly become a second for all the carb-lovers in the Northland.
VanVickle opened Anita's Famous Rolls on September 12 and has found immediate success. Of course, this is just her latest foray into the world of baking. She built a loyal following for her wares in Columbia, Mo. through her catering.
"I had always done catering before--just built out a commercial kitchen but didn't have clients there unless it was for a tasting. I used to sell thousands of pans of my rolls in Columbia each year, and I always wanted a bakery of my own," she says.
After being laid off from her job in real estate earlier in the year, VanVickle had the chance to ponder what her next move would be. As a Parkville resident, her community answered the question for her.
"During the pandemic after I'd been laid off in March, I asked in my neighborhood's private Facebook page if anyone would be interested in any cinnamon rolls or dinner rolls. And everyone was! It was right before Mother's Day, and I had a table a mile long filled with rolls for people to pick up. And I told my husband, 'I miss this. I'm going to open something.'"
After praying about it and asking God to make a home for her, she kept her eyes open for space. Driving down NW Prairie View Road, she saw workers taking down the sign for a Subway franchise. Stopping to look, she realized that this was the spot--good driveby traffic, open concept, and availability. A week later, she signed a lease.
Since her opening in September, the business has been booming. In addition to her famous dinner rolls, VanVickle has expanded to offer other baked items like giant cookies, cinnamon rolls, muffins, brownies, and her mother's famous carrot cake. She also offers breakfast sandwiches on her famous rolls and lunch items such as sandwiches, salads, and soups.
In mid-November, she expanded her hours to include dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings, with the same menu, but plans to expand to other more dinner appropriate options, with one caveat--they can only be made in an oven. That's a necessity, as VanVickle doesn't have a stove in the space, only an oven where she makes slow-roasted soups along with her baked goods.
The VanVickle has created a warm, cozy environment in the former Subway space, decorating with homey touches and seating for roughly 12. But most of her business is takeout right now, and she's happy with that. In fact, she set up a drive-thru roll pickup the day before Thanksgiving to accommodate the growing demand for her rolls.
And how are the rolls? They are everything you want them to be--buttery, slightly sweet, and oh-so-soft, echoing a tradition of breadmaking that goes back generations. She also offers gluten-free rolls made with rice flour but warns that because of cross-contamination, they should only be consumed by those that are avoiding gluten by choice, not because of allergies.
Anita's Famous Rolls puts VanVickle back where she belongs--in the kitchen kneading dough and love into each bite.
For hours and online ordering, visit Anitasfamousrolls.com.