State’s first Cinnaholic vegan bakery now open in Carmel

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Sanya Strawser was seeking an investment of some sort, but not necessarily a franchise.

Then while in Westfield, N.J., she and her husband, David Strawser, parked across the street from a Cinnaholic bakery. They were instantly sold on the concept of the plant-based, allergen-friendly cinnamon rolls and other desserts.

“The name was attractive. We went in and found out it was 100 percent vegan, which means no dairy, no egg,” Sanya said. “We have some allergies. We tried it, and it was spectacular. So, I reached out to them. Fourteen days later, we signed up, and that was an investment. Eight-and-a-half months later, here we are open.”

The first Cinnaholic in Indiana opened Sept. 30 at 1350 S. Range Line Road in Carmel. The Strawsers, who live in Fishers, co-own the franchise with their neighbor, Manjit Kaur, who owns several area gas stations. David is a director of engineer support for Carmel-based Bastian Solutions.

“I will definitely give the store my time and do a shift here and there,” Sanya said. “There is a lot of back-end management I do myself. I will not be hiring anyone. I will be doing the business part of it. Right now, I’m very plugged in because, first of all, we are brand new, and I have to get a handle on what the business is, and second, there is just an immense shortage of workers, so we haven’t been able to get fully staffed.”

Strawser owns her own company, People Factor, an organization development consulting firm. She is working on finishing her doctorate from Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

Cinnaholic’s cinnamon rolls have more than 20 frosting flavors and more than 20 topping choices. Other desserts include edible cookie dough, brownies, cookies, “Cinnacakes” and Dole’s signature gluten-free, dairy-free soft serve.

“This just became the perfect opportunity. It checked out all of my boxes,” Sanya said. “I didn’t want to go every 2 miles and there’s (a store). That was not a goal.”

Cinnaholic, based in Atlanta and has grown rapidly the past two years with more than 70 stores in the United States and Canada and more than 30 more in development. Fifty more are anticipated to open in 2023.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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