Local Businesses Spend Weeks Prepping For RAGBRAI

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Businesses across Cedar Rapids have spent weeks, if not months, prepping and planning for RAGBRAI riders.

For the last three weeks, the Sykora Bakery has been whipping up fan favorites for the thousands of cyclists looking for a sweet treat. "We made four thousand cookies and about 5,000 kolaches when we are all done, we've got about another thousand kolaches left to do yet," said John Rocarek, the Owner.

Rocarek said they started pulling together volunteers about a month ago. They also had to ask the owner of Save A Lot Grocery Store if they could use some freezer space. It is here that you will find the stacks of kolaches and cookies.

The Village Meat Market and Cafe across the street smells just as good. On Wednesday, they were smoking up food they hope will please those passing through. "The best thing we can do is just make a great impression for those folks going out and leaving us," said Lou Thompson, the Owner. Thompson said they will also be preparing fried chicken and waffles for breakfast on Friday.

While the two businesses don't know exactly how many customers to expect, they anticipate their won't be much food left behind. "We are figuring if we sell everything we make, we will do a months worth of business in two days," said Rocarek. "I would say 3 and a half to 4 days worth of business in one day, which is great," said Thompson.

Jules Bakery, located on the other side of town, is working hard on just one item, not for cyclists. "We've been planning this cake and designing it for the last 3 months since the day we knew RAGBRAI was coming through," said Juli Hardin, the Owner. A work of edible art for the volunteers hoping to make RAGBRAI's 40th birthday a success. The finished cake will have bicycle theme with touches of Cedar Rapids.

However, whether it's a piece of cake, a kolache, or a hot dog, businesses hope cyclists will take home the same impression. "We've made great strides in our community and you can start to see the progress now and that's what is really really fun. It shows our success and there is a lot of pride," said Hardin.
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