Davenport baker gets start-up “dough” from Royal Neighbors Foundation

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DAVENPORT,  Iowa -

Tucked away in a basement once used for counting money, Jennifer Ewert shapes a different kind of dough these days.

She opened the French Rose Bakery and Cafe on July 28.

Like any start-up, there's some anxiety.

"Just not knowing what to expect," she said.  "How people are going to react."

But the Davenport woman is living the dream by running her own bakery.

Dreams now cut short by long 12-hour workdays.

"Getting up and knowing I get to go and do something every day that I like to do, it's just been really awesome," she said.

Wednesday was really awesome at the historic Davenport Bank building on 220 Main Street.

"I think she's really been financing this on a shoestring," said Mary Staver, president of the Royal Neighbors Foundation.

There's a big surprise for Jennifer from the foundation.

It's the first $10,000 Know Your Worth grant.

"We're going to so enjoy watching you grow and become successful," Staver said.

Jennifer will use the grant to buy supplies and equipment.

She'll also get business advice and pointers to help her succeed.

"It will help her get a real good start and foundation for her business," said nominator John Friederich.

The cakes, cinnamon rolls and lunch treats call on her pastry training.

Plus, the location caters to downtown residents and workers.

"It's nice," she said.  "In the winter time, people can just come down to get coffee and a cinnamon roll."

After a few years of selling from her home kitchen, Jennifer envisions expansions and becoming mobile.

"See my face on a truck go by one of these days," she said.  "There I go."

From her basement beginning, she could be rolling in dough one day.

"It's rewarding to know I made someone's day better," she concluded.

You'll find the bakery at 220 Main Street in Davenport.

Enter the bank building at the side entrance on Main Street.

It's open Monday through Friday.

Operating hours include:  11-3 on Monday, 6:30-3 on Tuesday-Thursday and from 6:30-2 on Friday.