by Ann Fitts
Second in a series of profiles on businesses located South of the Courthouse (a.k.a “SoCo”)
To find Willy’s Cinnamon Rolls, you won’t need much help from your GPS. Once you make it to downtown Pittsboro, your nose can take you the rest of the way. If you can’t be tempted by the glazed swirl of Willy’s signature cinnamon rolls, their other treats range from savory breads to specialty scones. Owner Tucker Jacomet and volunteer operator Jeff Jacomet opened Willy’s Rolls four years ago and named the business after the family matriarch, Willmetta “Willy” Jacomet who was well known for her delectable cinnamon rolls.
What makes your business special? What do you specialize in? What’s your niche?
Here at Willy’s, we have been making cinnamon rolls by hand, from scratch for over 55 years. Willy was known for decades for her cinnamon rolls and yeast rolls made from her own recipe. In addition to cinnamon rolls, we offer scones, cookies, brownies, key lime pies, and much more—all made by hand from scratch. Our original focus is shipping our cinnamon rolls nationwide while also making cinnamon rolls available to our local customers from our micro-bakery in historic downtown Pittsboro.
What impact does your business have on the community?
Willy’s uses raw products from surrounding farms and flour from a regional mill. When we first opened, all of our equipment was donated to repurpose for the Willy’s concept—from tables and chairs to ovens and sinks, to outside tables and planters and small wares. We throw nothing away as we donate products to many homeless organizations and our community support operations. Our oversized pink chair outside our front door is a draw for many tourists to Pittsboro. On the interior, Willy’s has a fun, old fashioned 1940 to 1950s feel with pictures and displays reflecting days gone by.
What do you like about working in Pittsboro?
We love being a part of a thriving Pittsboro, from traditional local main street locations to the recently defined SoCo area and its business. Pittsboro has a great local flavor, where it’s easy to get to know most everybody. It’s the right size to travel to most locations in town in just a few minutes and 30 minutes from larger metropolitan locations.
What attracted you to Pittsboro? What’s your favorite person, place, and/or time of year or event in Pittsboro?
The attraction of a small town is what drew us here, combined with the proximity to the airport and large cities. We love Christmas time in Pittsboro with the parade and decorations, the friendly folks, and neighbors that stop in to say hello and maybe bring a treat. There are several people here that are my favorites—too many to mention. We love First Sundays and all farm-to-table places and events. Pittsboro…why go anywhere else?
What business in the Main Street District of Pittsboro do you enjoy? Why?
We frequent all of the businesses and help support each other. It’s easy to recommend other businesses to tourists when they ask for help.
Where will your business be in 5 years? What do you see when you think about the future of downtown Pittsboro?
We currently ship our pans of cinnamon rolls nationwide and see our big growth in that arena. Our goal was to design an operation staffed with team members having challenges that made it difficult for them to enter the workplace. As we grow, our team will also grow with us. We believe downtown Pittsboro will have a vibrant future filled with flavor and excitement as the area takes on significant growth. We are excited to be part of it.
35 W. Chatham Street, Pittsboro NC 27312
Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Orders can be placed in person, over the phone or online at the website.
Make sure to follow Willy’s Rolls on their social media accounts:
Instagram: @willyscinnamonrollsetc — https://www.instagram.com/willyscinnamonrollsetc/