Montclair Bread Company has a new name (Rabble Rise); a second location (New Paltz, New York) and a new laser focus on donuts.
The creative confections, which owner Rachel Wyman whipped up out of brioche dough on a slow day in 2012, are now the only menu item aside from a few other breakfast noshes available at the two Rabble Rise locations. There are no more lunch rolls or grain breads; A streamlined menu serves the Montclair location and the New Paltz store, formerly Gunkin’ Donuts.
And consumers, retailers, restaurants and bakeries across the country can now order Naked Donut Kits — six snap-frozen donuts in packets of toppings and icing — to serve or sell.
The “Montclair Bread Company” name has been a bit of a misnomer for years, as Wyman and donut lovers enthusiastically embrace their whimsically decorated creations, sometimes tied to holidays or cultural themes, like Obi Wan cannoli and Chewbacca for Star Wars Day. Their donut batter also stands out for its minimal, “clean” ingredients—coconut sugar, unbleached flour, olive oil, salt, and water. (The toppings are another story.)
Montclair Bread Company donuts have been tweeted by politicians and celebrities, described in national publications and featured on national news programs.
But as the bakery field filled up, Wyman said she realized the need to focus strictly on “what I do better than anyone else — donuts and all the innovation and creativity around them.”
“Bread was eclipsed,” she said. “It’s only 10% of sales, but it took 70% of our work. It’s so time consuming. Donuts are faster and the dough is less fiddly.”
Additionally, making different types of bread requires storing many large bags of grain, while making donuts only requires one, Wyman said. The extra space will allow her to produce even more donuts; It now produces about 7,000 a week in Montclair and 2,000 in New Paltz.
She will also have more space for catering, hosting special events, cooking classes and donut decorating parties.
Wyman currently supplies donuts to Le French Dad Bakery in Montclair, farmers markets in New York City and several wholesale stores in upstate New York. With the increased capacity and additional location, it will be able to serve a broader spectrum in the tri-state area and nationally.
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She also wants to bring Naked Donuts kits to supermarket chains and hopes to open Rabble Rise locations in other “donuts wastelands.”
Meanwhile, the triathlete and climber is relocating her primary residence from Montclair to New Paltz, where she and partner Brad Barket, a professional photographer who also runs youth running programs, recently bought a home. Two of their three children will start school there in the fall.
But she will remain present at the Rabble Rise store in the former Motor Vehicles Inspection Station on Label Street and will continue to fundraise for organizations like Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter; On Thursday, she’s hosting a donut decorating event for teens for OUT Montclair. In 2019, during the government shutdown, she brought donuts to thousands of unpaid TSA agents at Newark Airport.
Occasional Friday pizza nights, when she drives a copper pizza oven onto the patio and musicians play, continue. So has the annual 5K Donut Run, which over the past nine years has raised more than $100,000 for local charities and hosted more than 15,000 runners.
She and Ironbound Farm owner Charles Rosen, who supplies the eggs for Wyman’s donuts, are also working to bring a small farmers’ market to their patio this summer.
Another collaboration was recently started with Paper Plane Coffee. Rabble Rise will supply croissants and danishes to its store and serve Paper Plane coffee in its Montclair and New Paltz stores.
“It’s really cool that we’re serving coffee in New Paltz that’s roasted in Montclair,” she said.
For Wyman, who fell in love with the Hudson River Valley at the Culinary Institute of America, where she majored in cake decorating, moving to New Paltz means coming full circle.
And it’s the perfect place to train and compete. She just completed the Boston Marathon and is training this fall for the Survival of the Shawangunks triathlon — a 32-mile bike ride, three-mile swim across three lakes, and 30-mile run.
To relax, she climbs.
“It’s like solving a jigsaw puzzle; that’s how my brain likes to think,” she said. “It forces me to slow down.”
Julia Martin received the 2021 David Carr Award from the New Jersey Society for Professional Journalists for her coverage of Montclair for NorthJersey.com.
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