One Household's Well being Issues Had been the Inspiration for This Vegan Indiana Bakery

Simply exterior of Chicago, in Schererville, IN, native entrepreneur Carole Anne Flynn is on a mission to remodel her small city right into a plant-based oasis—and she or he’s making her purpose a actuality one vegan doughnut at a time. However earlier than she launched her doughnut store Bakehouse 138, Flynn was a younger mother navigating her sons’ extreme dairy intolerance. 

Almost three years in the past, Flynn welcomed her third little one. After studying that her son was born with a extreme dairy intolerance, she adopted a plant-based weight loss plan briefly to make sure she might safely breastfeed her new child. 

Whereas her son grew out of his dairy intolerance round his first birthday, Flynn’s fourth little one, too, was born with the identical dairy intolerance. 

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The stay-at-home mom of 4 was immediately thrust into the world of meals intolerances, and she or he rapidly turned an knowledgeable at studying labels. Dairy, she would come to study, was hidden in a big number of meals that she wouldn’t have usually anticipated. 

“Studying labels was primary,” Flynn tells VegNews about navigating her sons’ particular diets. 

Whereas nursing her sons and consuming vegan, Flynn realized the dearth of plant-based choices out there to her at native eating places. “We’re so near Chicago, however you cross the state line, and there’s an enormous halt [in terms of vegan options],” Flynn says. “The shortage of inclusivity blows my thoughts.”

Vegan doughnuts for all 

So, the mom of 4 determined to take issues into her personal fingers. In January 2023, Flynn launched Bakehouse 138. Throughout her first weekend of operation, she arrange store proper in her house and cranked out greater than 100 doughnuts utilizing a small, countertop fryer.

Flynn’s greatest good friend, Rachel Withers, supplied a serving to hand. Collectively, the 2 ladies set to work earlier than dawn. 

“Rachel and I’d begin at two or three within the morning, and we might nonetheless be backed up with orders as a result of we might solely fry two to a few doughnuts at a time,” Flynn explains. “The primary two or three months of operation, earlier than I received my [larger] fryer and proofing cupboard, they had been hell. I can’t imagine Rachel stood by me.”

VegNews.CaroleAnneFlynnRachelWithers.Bakehouse138Rachel Withers (left) and Carole Flynn (proper). Courtesy of Carole Flynn

Right this moment, Flynn and Withers have constructed out the previous’s solar room right into a full-fledged vegan doughnut operation. And with the suitable gear, the duo is best capable of meet demand. Gone are the times of 10-car traces exterior of Flynn’s house as prospects patiently wait for his or her orders. 

Clients flock to Bakehouse 138’s number of vegan cookies and doughnuts. Traditional glazed and frosted varieties are up for grabs alongside French silk, German chocolate, tiramisu, Speculoos, key lime pie, creme brûlée, and Bavarian cream doughnuts.

Flynn and Withers have additionally turn out to be buyer favorites on the Crown Level Farmers Market in Crown Level, IN, the place they promote out in just below an hour and are identified to attract crowds earlier than they’ve even formally opened their sales space. 

Discovering energy in analysis 

Flynn has established herself as a distinguished baker in Schererville, IN, and has drawn the assist of her city’s small however mighty vegan neighborhood. However Flynn’s success wasn’t with out challenges.

Whereas her sons’ dairy intolerance motivated Flynn to undertake a vegan weight loss plan momentarily, it was her personal psychological analysis that additional inspired her to remodel her longtime ardour for baking right into a enterprise endeavor. 


Now 30, Flynn recounts that 29 was a tough yr for her personally. “I’m going to name it a midlife disaster,” she shares. “I felt that I didn’t know myself. I’d recognized as a spouse and as a mom, however I form of felt like I didn’t know my very own identification. And I used to be going by way of a collection of actually unhealthy occasions that had been my very own doing.”

Flynn’s “midlife disaster” wasn’t precisely what she thought. In the end, she was identified with bipolar dysfunction, and her analysis gave her the encouragement to pursue baking professionally. 

“The invention and therapy of my bipolar dysfunction was truly how I used to be capable of immerse myself and simply have the drive and the arrogance to share my [baking] expertise with different folks,” Flynn says. “I had principally been going by way of a 10-year manic episode, and I simply didn’t know.”

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The expertise taught her the significance of prioritizing her psychological well being. “I’m a mom, and as a mother, it’s a must to handle your self, and psychological well being is so essential,” she says. 

Right this moment, Flynn hopes to assist others understand that psychological well being problems don’t all the time maintain folks again, however that they could be a supply of motivation. The entrepreneur, too, hopes that she will function a way of encouragement for these in comparable conditions. 

Flynn is presently trying to additional broaden Bakehouse 138 and is elevating $50,000 through GoFundMe to buy further bakery gear. Sooner or later, she hopes to remodel Bakehouse 138 from a house operation to a brick-and-mortar bakery with its very personal storefront. 

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