Cindy and Roger Hawkins love to talk, especially about food, and the business they love. Cindy is the “Sweet” part of Circle City. She started as an event planner and worked in the alumni office at Butler, but was drawn to the food industry. She and Roger met at Hollywood Bar and Filmworks where she waited tables and he was the kitchen manager. Roger, by the way, is the “Soup” part of C.C. Or as he describes it, the “savory” to Cindy’s sweet. Roger began with a degree in History and then had an epiphany after being shown how to properly chop an onion. He has since worked with some of the finest chef’s in the city, from Brad Gates to Steve Oakley and more. He is also the one who pushed Cindy to quit her job and spend six months in Chicago at the French Pastry School.
The two halves of the couple have very different specialties, but Cindy and Roger both have the same high standard of quality when it comes to their craft. Roger says, “You can teach the skills, but not how to care.” They look for that caring attitude about the product and about the customer when they hire people to work with them. Cindy’s mom helps out with the business and her sous chef, Allison, is the face we see at the Market each Saturday. Roger’s sous chef Chris, Tania, Angela, and Debra, round out their staff at their home base, the City Market downtown.
The philosophy behind their creations is to create a high quality hand-made product that pays respect to the season. You will often see Roger scouting the Market for the best produce to use in his soups and Cindy’s breads and pastries. They planned, researched and finally brought the longtime dream of their own business to fruition two years ago. Now, besides their City Market booth, they do numerous farmers markets, event catering, and provide foods for Nordstrom and Recess among others. They love being involved in the developing food industry in Indianapolis. “It’s like a big family,” Roger told me. “We all talk about our food and what we’re doing, and we help each other out.”
Circle City Sweets has a loyal customer base at the Market, where they can find their breads, pastries, jams, granola, soups and more. “We try to bring the items that are heat-friendly,” said Cindy. This coming Saturday, they will have Roger’s corn chowder (made from My Dad’s Sweet Corn), and fresh gazpacho, as well as Cindy’s gooseberry jam, juneberry cherry jam, and peach vanilla jam. You can keep up with Circle City Sweets/Soups on facebook, or go to their website.