With fall in full swing in Bloomington, it’s the perfect time of year to escape from campus for a little while and take a very much worthwhile walk past Kirkwood to Rainbow Bakery for some apple cider and pumpkin pie.
Owners Matt Tobey and Lisa Dorazewski have both been long time vegans. Their reasoning is simple: they say that they refuse to be a part of the suffering of animals along with the harsh conditions of the industries involved.
“It feels better for myself and the world,” said Tobey.
Two years ago, in August of 2013 with no business schooling or culinary experience, the duo created Rainbow Bakery. Rainbow Bakery is completely vegan and even offers some gluten-free options. Yet you would honestly never know if they didn’t tell you. People who aren’t vegan or don’t have a gluten intolerance enjoy their pastries just the same.
Tobey and Dorazewski make their very own alternatives in the store, such as vegan marshmallows and vegan bacon made from coconuts. They’re most known for their donuts. There’s always eight different kinds and they typically vary for the season.
The available flavors on display when I went were sweet beet, toasted coconut, maple or maple bacon, apple cider, pumpkin, cinnamon sugar, chocolate frosted and strawberry frosted.
The atmosphere of the bakery is definitely one of a kind. To begin, the room is filled with plants. There are plants growing from pots, plants growing from the wall, and plants growing off the stove of a countertop.
The color scheme is, believe it or not, rainbow. The rainbow walls and rainbow chairs create a positive environment for locals and regulars to study, relax, and work.
There’s a Pac-Man counsel in the front corner for when breaks are needed, and some stoplight-looking lights above it. There was a lot going on around the bakery, but somehow it all worked together to make an amusing and intriguing environment. For Tobey though, it’s all about the windows that surround the bakery.
“It’s cozy,” said Tobey. “They make the atmosphere. The walls aren’t closing in like other coffee shops might.”
The one wall that isn’t used for windows, is used for artwork. The bakery does rotating shows monthly for artists, and currently they’re so popular that they’re booked until May of next year. The artists vary, some reach out to the bakery and some the bakery reaches out to. There are themes occasionally; every December there’s a Santa Clause-themed show and in the past there’s been artwork done by kids displayed as well.
What’s crazy though is that the entire bakery is run by a staff of nine people all together. Every completely handmade cupcake, cookie, pie, or donut is done by one of those nine people.
“It’s like a family,” said Tobey.
Check out Rainbow Bakery. Whether the fact that it’s an all vegan bakery terrifies you or invites you, there’s bound to be something that catches your eye and makes your mouth water.