When a Berkeley, California, couple started a cinnamon roll bakery, they were sure to market the rolls as being made from scratch and gourmet before they mentioned they were dairy- and egg-free. But don’t worry, most of their customers can’t taste that it’s anything other than delicious. A few years and Shark Tank episodes later, longtime Hoover resident John Rumore is bringing the Cinnaholic concept to Alabama after he and his wife, Vallee, saw its success in Atlanta and Knoxville. It’s set to open Sept. 25 in The Village at Lee Branch on Highway 280 next to Moe’s in the former Southern Spoiled Boutique, but in the meantime we chatted with him to get a menu preview.

How did the Cinnaholic concept get started?

It was started in Berkeley, California, by Shannon and Florian Radke. They worked on perfecting the cinnamon roll recipe for at least a year and opened a location in 2010. They went on Shark Tank in 2014, and from there they started franchising. It’s taken off since then, and we are at around 40 locations right now with more under development.

How did you come to bring the concept to Alabama?

Both my father Duke Rumore and uncle Joe Rumore were in the radio business in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and I attribute a lot of my work ethic and drive to them. My dad would go to the station at 6 a.m.  and sold his commercials and everything.  Then he had four Rumore’s Buggy Bath car washes on top of it that my brother and I ran. We sold the last one in 2018 and started looking at franchises. We found that Cinnaholic is family-oriented, and they want the customer to feel like family when they come in. Their products are all made from scratch and are dairy-free, egg-free and cholesterol-free, so they are great for people who have dietary restrictions. It looked like it would be a hit here.

Tell us more about these cinnamon rolls.

Most of the customers who come in don’t realize the cinnamon roll is dairy-free because it’s a great tasting product. You get to choose from 20 different frostings and 20 different toppings to customize it—all made from scratch. We make the pie crumbs and edible cookie dough in-house, and some of the other topping options are strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, chocolate chips and a fudge-style brownie crumbled up. When it comes to frostings, there’s strawberry, vanilla, cream cheese, orange cream, Amaretto, caramel and others. Or you can buy cookie dough and put toppings on it too. All the stores source their coffee locally, and we are proud to partner up with Baba Java in Hoover to serve their product. We have an espresso machine ordered, and we’ll do iced coffee.

What do you recommend ordering?

Our number one seller is The Cookie Monster with cream cheese frosting, homemade cookie dough, chocolate chips and chocolate sauce. My favorite is Mamaw’s Pecan Pie. It was developed by the Knoxville store and has maple frosting, fresh pecans, homemade pie crumbs and caramel sauce. The Knoxville location has actually held the No. 2 spot for volume and sales after the Berkeley store.

Do you cater?

Our catering has gone over really well for bridal showers and weddings. We can setup a DIY bar, so you choose your own frostings and toppings. We make a baby bun that’s a smaller version of our regular roll for catering. We also cater cookies and brownies, and we make a cinnacake where several cinnamon rolls are baked into a cake and topped with any toppings you like.