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Biz Buzz: Rustic Grains Bakery is Roseville’s first king of cronuts

Fundraisers for kids, special tours keep fall busy
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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A “cronut craze” is sweeping the nation, but for Eli Frank, who grew up in Old World cities along the Mediterranean, there is nothing new about the mouth-watering trend. When Frank heard Americans have suddenly become obsessed with the fluffy, croissant-doughnut hybrid, he started doing what he loves to do — combine century-old culinary secrets with his own inventive flair.

Frank’s Rustic Grains Bakery at 406 Vernon St. is now among the first businesses in Roseville to offer genuine cronuts.

Americans’ new-found love for cronuts started on Spring Street in New York City in May, when the Dominique Ansel Bakery earned national media attention for the endless lines of cronut fans lining up at its doors. In July, writer, journalist and producer David Simon used his popular blog to complain about television chef Anthony Bourdain cheating him out of a cronut. By August, the want of cronuts had reached a fever pitch, spurring hundreds of bakeries to begin attempting to offer them.

However, Frank says he has no interest in simply copying what an East Coast bakery has done. Nor does he need to: According to Frank, mixing doughnuts and croissants is a feat Eastern European bakers have been doing for decades. Frank has now started to offer his own version of cronuts called Boundi, inspired by the early culinary tradition. Frank says the big difference between the Boundi style of cronuts and the New York knock-offs circulating around Sacramento is that a Boundi is far less greasy.

“The secret to Boundi, or cronuts, is making sure the butter stays in when you fry it,” Frank explained. “You have to keep the butter from leaking out into the oil — and that’s the trick to keeping the dough from being greasy. Cronuts are about 28 percent butter, and the key is making sure that amount actually makes it into the finished product.”

Frank thinks his Boundis are more challenging than many foodies realize. One of the big problems he’s run up against involves the generally poor quality of American butter. Frank, who spent decades cooking in a French bakery in Los Angels, knows he can work greater wonders with European butter, which is churned with a far higher purity. Frank has also engineered a special long, éclair-like cronut doused in cinnamon and filled in the center with ricotta cream cheese. He calls it the Daisy Special. 

The Rustic Grain Bakery has more additions on the horizon: Frank recently teamed up with Chef Collin Sweeny, who will be offering breakfast and lunch crepes and omelets from sunrise to later afternoon at the downtown stop. The bakery will still be offering its staples of hand-baked rye bread and giant Hungarian wheel bread. In the meantime, Frank has been walking across Vernon Street to sell his Boundi-cronuts at the farmers market and the new Wine Down Wednesday in the Town Square.

“They’ve been a pretty big hit out there,” Frank said. “I’ve sold a bunch of them.”        

KidsFirst, Placer County’s nonprofit combating child abuse and helping at-risk youngsters, will hold its first-ever Denim and Diamonds Kickin’ It Up for Kids fundraising event in October. The evening will include live country music by the Dave Russel Band, a barbecue dinner catered by Dickey’s, line dancing lessons, beer and wine, a silver dollar toss and a Damsels in Diamonds, Dudes in Denim Best Dressed Contest. The event is Oct. 24 from 5 - 9:30 p.m. All proceeds help KidsFirst with local outreach programs. Tickets are $90 before Oct. 10 and $100 after. Sponsorships are still available for regional businesses and organizations. For tickets or more information, call Diana Martin at (916) 754-5069 or email dmartin@kidsfirstnow.org. To learn more about KidsFirst’s presence in Placer County, visit www.kidsfirstnow.org.

Reinvent Clothing Boutique & Consignment Shop is telling deal-lovers to get on the bus — literally. On Oct. 12, the store will host a Resale Bus Tour that brings participants to visit seven different consignment shops in Roseville, Rocklin and Granite Bay. In addition to getting a full tour of the area’s consignment landscape, participants get an automatic 20-percent off in every store during the tour. Tickets for the tour are $25 and include a box lunch, mimosas, refreshments and the 20 percent store discounts. Reinvent’s owner, Marie Muscat, said the bus can hold 50 eager shoppers. For more information, call (916) 774-0344. Reinvent Clothing Boutique & Consignment Shop is at 7441 Foothills Blvd. in Roseville.

On Sept. 21, residents can get special guided tours of a new handcrafted and highly customized home in Granite Bay. The 9,300-square-foot building was created by Paul Hills Design & Hills Construction. Owner Paul Hills himself will guide the complimentary tours, which depart every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The walk-around features an up-close look at specialized ceiling millwork, distinctive cabinetry, an artistic outdoor rock and pool design, sunken fire pits and more. For more information about this “Design and Build Showcase,” contact Paul Hills Design & Hills Construction at (916) 791-0559, or visit www.paulhillsconstruction.com.

A Roseville restaurant and Rocklin hub for exotic cuisine will be participating this September in a major, region-wide effort to fight childhood obesity: Brookfields Restaurant in Roseville and Anatolian Table Turkish Restaurant in Rocklin will be teaming up with the California Food Literacy Center’s EatSMART fundraising campaign. The special event adds a voluntary dollar to every restaurant ticket to help children across the area learn about the impact of food on our health, community and the environment.

Roseville’s John F. Cicotte Financial is changing its business name to IRA Rollover Connection, reflecting what it considers a special area of expertise in the region. Representatives for the company said the new title coincides with focusing on a total retirement solution model that betters serves its clients and the community. The company has been in business since 1987. It is located at 3007 Douglas Blvd., Suite 130. For more information, call (916) 789-1200 or visit www.ira-rolloverconnection.com.