Alberta Newspaper Group
The Rolling Pin bakery in Bow Island has new ownership and a bit of a new look, but still all the favourites the community has come to love.
Sisters Eva Loewen and Nella Wolfe took over the business Christmas Eve and officially opened to customers on Jan. 15. A few tweaks to the menu and some new equipment have found their way into the mix, but the women have worked to keep the same warmth and comfort the Rolling Pin has always offered.
“We’re really happy with how it’s gone (so far),” says Wolfe. “Lots of people have showed up to support us — the doughnuts are flying off the shelves.
“We’d always been interested in owning our own business in the past, and it just felt like the right time and the right opportunity.”
Loewen, who already lived in Bow Island, had worked at the bakery years ago, so knew what to expect from the business. Wolfe, who is still addressed in Taber for the time being, had extensive experience running a Tim Hortons, so between the two there is plenty of knowhow for the industry.
“We kind of knew what we were walking into — we both had some experience with transition so I think that helped us a lot,” says Wolfe.
Loewen and Wolfe have been putting in the time and effort to get up to speed and have found the transition from past ownership to be smooth. Being able to count in a trusted sibling is making things a little easier.
“We’re both pretty relaxed,” Wolfe says. “It’s nice to be able to rely on each other. Instead of being stressed about a problem, we can let each other know and handle it together.
“Overall, it’s slightly less stressful than running a Tim Hortons, so we’re feeling pretty good.”
They had quite a bit of help getting up to snuff, as former owner Erna Varekamp stayed on for several weeks in support. Varekamp had been looking to sell the bakery for some time now, wanting to free up time for her primary business, Erna’s Berry Farm and Country Cafe.
“I’m more committed now to the berry farm, and I’m ready for that,” Varekamp says. “The berry farm has been slacking the last couple of years because of the bakery, so I’m excited.
“I don’t think I can do too much this year because it’s kind of short (timing) but I’m definitely hoping to do a little bit more next year with the berry farm — I’m happy to be able to put more time and effort into it.”
Varekamp says she didn’t know the sisters before selling the bakery to them, but is glad to pass the business off to someone committed to keeping its traditions alive.
“That was important for me and I think for the town as well,” Varekamp says. “People don’t mind seeing a little change, but not too much of a change. The bakery means a lot to people here, and to Taber and Medicine Hat as well — it is very important to keep the Rolling Pin going pretty much as is.
“And it looks like Eva and Nella are doing that. Every owner will put in a few new changes, I did as well.”
Varekamp owned the bakery for five years and says she will miss it. With school-aged children, she’s happy to spend more time with family and eager to make improvements at the berry farm.
“I would just like to thank everyone for their support the past few years, and for bearing with me when I had some tough times,” Varekamp says. “Overall it’s been a great five years, and I really appreciate the customers and the town for being so supportive — I couldn’t wish for a better community.”
Loewen and Wolfe are just as keen on the community and are looking forward to being a well known presence in Bow Island.
“We’re excited to be here and hope to be here for a long time,” Wolfe says.