Over the past several years, a daughter and mother who played an instrumental part in reenergizing downtown Marion have become Champions for hard work, both in and outside of the kitchen, to help the community.
Expanding from making jams and jellies to baking breads and cakes, Rachel Creech with the help of her mom, Terri Reynolds, began the Country Café & Bakery business in a lease-to-own city building at 100 N. Washington St., overlooking the Mississinewa River. The vacant brick and mortar became a charming cottage-like café open for breakfast and lunch inside a storefront for baked goods, jarred recipes, and more. Three years after it opened in 2015, Country Café owners officially bought the building, then paid off their mortgage in 2020.
The café became a beacon of hope in the downtown, and in the few years following, more and more restaurants started popping up such as current icons Los Amores, Obi’s Barbecue, Sender Café, and Ashley’s Ice Cream. Today, there are nearly a dozen places to eat downtown Marion.
Creech and Reynolds have abundantly given to the community in addition to their own time to run the business. Their biggest charitable contribution each year is providing the entrée for the Grant County Rescue Mission Easter Dinner. They also bake and cook for the Training Center’s “Cupcake Wars” and “Chili Cook-Offs” with many other contributions each year. In May of 2022, they sponsored Marion’s 190th Birthday Party by baking 190 miniature cupcakes.
Creech devoted nearly five years with Main Street Marion on the board and promotions committee. She and her mom for the past several seasons help plant flowers in the downtown planters. Creech was a member of Tri Kappa sorority for about four years fostering education and the arts. She also volunteers with Gilead Ministries’ prayer program.
In the spring of 2022, Country Café closed its doors to allow Creech to primarily focus on her health. The business, like many others, was also struggling due to supply issues and inflation.
She has agreed to handle some baking orders from home, and even on-site kitchen catering.
Creech is Iowa-born but raised in Marion, IN, graduating from Marion High School, with a medical transcription certificate and paralegal associate’s degree from Ivy Tech. Reynolds is a Hoosier from Blackford County who grew up in Gas City and went to Mississinewa High School.