Fabienne Bollom is not your average Dripping Springs business owner. Not by a long shot. Born and raised in Brussels, Belgium, Bollom married a Texan and relocated to Dripping Springs in 1999.
Raising two children, she felt the need to be social and craved contact with people. When an old plant nursery space became available, she jumped at the opportunity. Never mind that she’d never worked in food outside of a friend’s farm stand. Bollom laughs at the thought. “We went to see the owner. They looked at us like ‘who is this woman?’”
She faced tough challenges as a woman and a foreigner. Bankers didn’t want to lend to her. Seventeen years later she knows she’s earned respect. “It wasn’t like ‘I’m gonna prove you wrong.’ But, I haven’t forgotten,” she says. “It was just like ‘stay calm, show what you got. Do it.’”
What is now Rolling in Thyme and Dough was never meant to be a coffee shop. “We wanted to do something with good food and fresh fruit, all organic,” says Bollom. “Then the word got out.”
“People wanted cinnamon rolls. I said, ‘what’s a cinnamon roll?’ We grew from what was needed,” she says. “A man told me it was a sissy place, and I said ‘no!’ That’s how the (best-selling) meatloaf sandwich started. We didn’t open a coffee shop, but everything kinda switched and switched and switched.”
Like many restaurants, the business struggled to attract employees during COVID, but this hurdle didn’t faze Bollom. “The situation changed daily. You have to adjust,” she says. “You can complain or you just do it.”
Despite the challenge, the restaurant stayed open with lots of help from the community. “I have a group of women friends and they jump in and help so many times. It’s the best part – having women friends,” she says. “And that’s what I like about being a woman. To be helpful to lift up every other woman. Don’t give up.”
She works with both her children, Jessica and Jerome. One day they will take over the business. She wants to travel. But for now, you can find her every morning, bringing joy to others.
“In my dream world, I want a place where people come and relax. It’s the beginning of the day. It’s the start,” she says. “Everything I want is just a good vibe to start the day. I cannot change the world. But I can give a smile. Because that is contagious.”
“This community is wonderful because we help each other, that’s the beauty of Dripping.”
thymeanddough.com | 333 US-290