Pastries For the People
Writer / Megan Jefferson
Photographer / Ron Wise
The smell of fresh bread is said to be the most universally loved smell on the planet, vanilla is supposedly the second. You are immediately enticed by both of these smells as you walk by a small cute blue cabin, behind La Piedad, in Broad Ripple Village to check out Rene’s Bakery.
Cakes, cookies, pies, croissants and more. It’s overwhelmingly awesome. Four Hundred square feet of fresh baked goodness is the best way to describe this laid-back Broad Ripple bakery. Albert Trevino is the owner and pastry chef and explains why Rene’s Bakery for the name.
“Well, it’s my middle name and that sure sounds better than Albert’s,” Trevino says.
Trevino holds a degree in Culinary Arts from Ivy Tech and, after graduating, he worked as a pastry chef at a local country club. That job was ending and he needed to come up with a plan. It seemed the perfect time to start his own business. With that in mind, he went to pick up some baking equipment from a restaurant that was closing. The former owner not only talked him into buying the supplies but also renting the space that is now Rene’s bakery. It was meant to be.
On March 12, 2004, he opened his dream business, excited to make $50 that first day. The business has grown steadily ever since. Last year, Rene’s made more than $400,000 in sales. Trevino says the biggest spike came after USA Today published an article titled, “The Best Place to get a Cookie in the US.” Rene’s made the Top 10 list. The winning treat? A flourless cookie called the Chocolate Chewy that is still one of Rene’s best sellers. Other popular items include the lemon meringue tart, plain croissants, omelet croissants and chocolate raspberry tortes.
Trevino has nine employees working in the space that is small – the size of a two-car garage. Here they meticulously make everything from scratch. The specialty items are a hit, but there’s also bread, macaroon cookies (which they made even before the macaroon boom, they’re really that cool), bread pudding, cakes and pies.
“I love baking, and I just won’t compromise my product. I use good ingredients, great chocolate and real Madagascar vanilla,” Trevino says.
Rene’s goes through a gallon of vanilla every three weeks. Due to a cyclone that wiped out last year’s Madagascar vanilla crop, the price soared from $50/gallon to $400/gallon. This is a testament to Truvino’s high standards.
Trevino wants people to know that there’s something for everyone at Rene’s
“I want to be a place where if someone has $2 in their pocket, they can get something to eat. Pastries for the people,” he says.
Now that’s a revolution to get behind.
Rene’s is located at 6524 N. Cornell Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220. With hours: Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.to 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to noon.
They also have a new location in Noblesville located at 146th and Gray Rd. at Gray Road Market. This location is open Tuesday through Saturday and has seating as well.