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Enjoy a Fall Picnic with Rolling Farms

Al Parker - October 11th, 2010
And a fledgling Traverse City restaurant is making it hassle-free to
pack up a meal and head off to your very own particular picnic place.
Rolling Farms Café offers a full Picnic For Two, featuring two café
sandwiches (turkey, roast beef, ham, almond chicken or albacore tuna
on your choice of nine-grain, sour dough or rye breads), two specialty
salads, two bags of chips, two canned beverages and, for dessert, two
fresh-baked cookies.
It’s a great way to enjoy a spur-of-the-moment picnic when you don’t
want to go to the trouble to do-it-yourself. Rolling Farms Café, which
opened at Copper Ridge in November 2009, even provides a classic
picnic basket to tote your special meal. The cost is only $21.90, plus
a $5 basket rental fee and refundable $40 deposit. So that’s very
memorable lunch for you and a special guest for $26.90.
“The picnic baskets are really going great,” says Chris Roller, who co-
owns the restaurant with other family members. “We do about 20 or so a
week. It’s gives people a really nice lunch for a great price.”

FAMILY BUSINESS
Rolling Farms Café is a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in family
business for the Rollers. Chris and his brother Byrch oversee the
daily operation, while other family members also help out. The family
also owns and operates an 80-acre farm (Rolling Farms) nestled in
Leelanau County between Cedar and Leland.
“Our real concept is for the farm to provide almost all the items for
the restaurant from start to finish,” explains Roller, who grew up in
East Lansing and spent many summers in the region. “We want to grow
them and sell them, everything fresh, organic and of the highest
quality.”
While the eatery opens at 7 a.m. and does a brisk breakfast trade of
coffee and pastries, it really starts rockin’ around lunch time. About
a dozen different crunchy-fresh salads are available in half or whole
sizes, with prices ranging from $4.25 to $7.25.
And if you’re a sandwich fan, there are more than two dozen creative
offerings. Some of the most popular are:
• Maryland Picnic featuring turkey bathed in olive oil, oregano and
garlic and topped with tomato slices, melted dofino cheese and served
on toasted sourdough bread.
• Michigan Picnic featuring hot turkey, melted dofino cheese,
mushrooms, melted cheddar cheese, red onion, mayo and hot honey
mustard on a toasted roll.
• Florence Picnic, a vegetarian favorite, with mozzarella, roma
tomatoes, romaine lettuce, red onion, olive oil, cracked black pepper,
mayor and pesto on a roll.
• Complete Picnic, the largest sandwich on the menu, comes with twice
the meat and cheese. It’s piled high with turkey, ham, roast beef,
Swiss, cheddar and dofino cheeses, plus mayo, hot honey mustard,
tomato, lettuce, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts and red onion.
“We offer three types of service – you can order at the counter, take
a seat and a waitress will serve you, or there’s delivery right to
your location,” says Roller, who added that they’ve delivered meals as
far away as Cadillac.

VISTA VIEW
Perched high on Copper Ridge, the restaurant’s outdoor patio seats 28
comfortably and offers a panoramic view of Traverse City’s south side.
It’s a prime location for watching the annual Cherry Festival Air Show.
Rolling Farms Café’s staff of 16 is an energetic blend of family
members and experienced restaurant workers. They’ve been crucial in
developing a base of regulars, according to Roller.
“We’ve been going like gangbusters since we opened,” he says. “We’ve
had great community support, including great response from the
hospital and the medical community.”
Attitude is crucial in keeping customers happy and the staff is great
at that, according to Roller.
“Caring about people as individuals is important, whether they buy a
cup of coffee or 100 sandwiches,” he says. “You have to treat people
with kindness and respect. Our goal is to create a business that’s
good for the community, good for our staff and a comfortable place to
visit. We want to be known as a place with high quality service and
fresh products made with care – a positive place.”

Rolling Farms Café, at 4000 Eastern Sky Drive, at Copper Ridge in
Traverse City, is open Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed
Sunday. For more information or takeout orders, call (231) 421-5711.
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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