Layla Price, MSM board member and committee chair, recently sat down with one of Downtown Marion’s newest business owners, Rachel Creech. Keep reading to find out more!
Photo Caption: Rachel Creech and her mom, Terri Reynolds, owners of the Country Cafe
Why did you decide to open a bakery/cafe? I personally have a love for food and the kitchen – it’s my happy place. As a teenager and as I got older, my mother and I would do a lot of baking and candy making for the holidays then give it all out. We would always talk about having a little shop. My mother also wanted (I am sure would still love to) open a place for kids to hang out and stay out of trouble.
Why did you choose to open it downtown? Downtown needed another place. There is Folkie’s and Mi Pueblo and that’s it. Some people can’t do or don’t like Mexican and same goes for the smoke. (I personally love both places though!) We provide a different kind of food and atmosphere.
What to you love about downtown, Marion? Would it be crazy to say I love our location because I am fascinated with the river and the ducks/geese? The water fowl can be quite entertaining. Downtown is most generally the heart of any city. I will admit that Marion is lacking but yet, there is improvement. I think it just needs more people with the dreams and ability to fill the empty slots to make it whole again.
What do you wish people knew about your business? We are still new, therefore still learning. We need your feedback whether good or bad. We want to be the very best we can be. We like challenges and like to try new things, so don’t be afraid to say hey, can you do this….?
What are some other important features about your business? Nothing comes out of a box. Almost everything is made from scratch. We are always finding a way to do what little we don’t do. Pastrami, Salami, and Summer Sausage is in the works! The latest was cheese crackers.
What advice do you have for someone wishing to open a business? I would probably suggest joining the Marion Open Air Market! That’s how we got started; and in a million years would have never expected to end up where we are. It’s a great addition to the city of Marion. It gives you a chance to learn and grow. Meet your possible customer base. There have been several booths that now have brick and mortar locations because of the market.
What advice do you have for those interested in opening a restaurant/cafe? Never be satisfied with mediocre. It hast to be taken to the next level. Food can be the gateway to a person’s stomach, heart, and soul. I think the best compliment I have heard was from a third party when I was told “their mouth is literally craving the Italian Grilled Cheese”.
Are you happy with Main Street Marion’s involvement with you as a downtown business? Of course we are!
What is your greatest need? The same as any business – community support. Locals supporting locals. My husband has said many times that during his times of travels it was always the mom and pop shops that had the best stuff! I will admit that, until we joined the Marion Open Air Market, we did not understand what it is to support your local artists, shops, restaurants, etc. Every chance we get, that’s what we do!
How do you hope to grow/improve in the next 3-5 years? I know that we really want to add outdoor seating and a small garden area. Be able to offer full catering. I wouldn’t mind maybe having a second location maybe in Fairmount or Swayzee. And of course….dying for the Food Network to come do a piece!