Thursday, September 18, 2014


Rachel Shenk, owner of Rachel's Bread in Goshen, puts the finishing touches on a croissant dough on a marble-topped table Friday, April 11, 2014. After rolling the dough it was refrigerated before being formed into the flaky creations. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

A loaf of old world sourdough sits in a bin of bread behind the counter at Rachel's Bread in Goshen on Friday, April 11, 2014. Owner Rachel Shenk plans to expand her operation in Goshen with the addition of a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Rachel Shenk, owner of Rachel's Bread in Goshen, kneads a huge ball of dough that will become her four-pepper sourdough Friday, April 11, 2014. Shenk plans to expand her operation in Goshen with the addition of a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Senior baker Anna Mast fills individual quiche with caramelized onions as she works in the kitchen at Rachel's Bread in Goshen on Friday, April 11, 2014. The long-standing bakery may be expanding to add a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Rachel Shenk, owner of Rachel's Bread in Goshen, kneads a huge ball of dough that will become her four pepper sourdough Friday, April 11, 2014. Shenk plans to expand her operation in Goshen with a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Rachel Shenk, owner of Rachel's Bread in Goshen, prepares a sheet tray with butter before loading loaves of Belgium breakfast bread on to it Friday, April 11, 2014. Shenk plans to expand her operation in Goshen with a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Rachel Shenk, owner of Rachel's Bread in Goshen, scores the top of a loaf of bread before loading it into a wood fired oven Friday, April 11, 2014. Shenk plans to expand her operation in Goshen with the addition of a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Rachel Shenk, owner of Rachel's Bread in Goshen, is seen working behind a bin of bread in the foreground in her bakery Friday, April 11, 2014. Shenk is expanding her operation in Goshen with a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

A well-worn oven mitt rests on the hearth of the wood-fired oven at Rachel's Bread in Goshen on Friday, April 11, 2014. Owner Rachel Shenk would like to expand her operation in Goshen with the addition of a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Rachel Shenk, owner of Rachel's Bread in Goshen, weighs dough as she prepares loaves of a childhood favorite Belgium breakfast bread Friday, April 11, 2014. Shenk plans to expand her operation in Goshen with the addition of a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Rachel Shenk, owner of Rachel's Bread in Goshen, taps a loaf of bread to check for doneness after removing it from the wood-fired oven in her bakery Friday, April 11, 2014. Shenk plans to expand her operation in Goshen with a cheese shop. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)
Owner of Rachel’s Bread inspired by European roots to open cheese shop
Posted on April 14, 2014 at 2:10 p.m.

GOSHEN — Growing up near Brussels, Belgium, Rachel Shenk ate bread and cheese with almost every meal, including dessert.

Shenk moved to the United States when she was a teenager but travels back to Europe every year, often gleaning inspiration for her own bakery and restaurant. She opened Rachel’s Bread at 212 W. Washington St. in Goshen 20 years ago, and the time has come to expand.

“I grew up with the concept that you always have cheese around, and it was always good cheese,” Shenk said. “So a natural progression here making European-style breads, I thought about what people would want to buy along with bread – cheese.”

Shenk hopes to open her own cheese shop next door to Rachel’s Bread in a space that was part of Sweet Water Interiors. But before she can open the business, Shenk will have to get approval from the local health department and make some renovations, including new sinks, more lighting and improvements to the walls and floors. She does not have a specific time frame for the new shop but hopes to have it open later this year.

Shenk said she plans to model the shop after the markets she visited in southern France. In Europe, she said, people regularly take trips to specialized markets to buy their groceries.

“In the little town that I grew up in, there’s a baker, a butcher, a little cheese shop, a green grocer, and you go to all those places to get what you want,” Shenk said. “With opening a cheese shop, the idea is that people know they can come here and get service with a person who is handling cheese all the time and has some knowledge about the cheese.”

Shenk plans to offer a combination of imported cheeses from Europe and high-quality American cheese from local producers. She may add olive oil, spices, butter and yogurt to the menu.

Opening a cheese shop has not always been part of Shenk’s grand plan, but she said “Goshen is ready for this.”

“Five years ago, if I would have considered doing it, I don’t think I would have been ready,” she said. “But I think there is a development happening in this area of town with the new brew pub coming in over here, the Hawks building over here is being renovated and there’s a little more circulation.”

Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.