Thursday, September 18, 2014
Morgantown Edition: Chico Bakery
Have you passed that white brick building that sits just off of Beechurst Avenue? It has just a small sign in blue that says Chico Bakery. But no real storefront from the outside - mostly looks like production.
Inside this building is where Julia’s Pepperoni Rolls are made. That ubiquitous gas station food found all over North Central West Virginia. I have wondered - for years - if you’re able to walk in this building or if it’s just a factory.
While driving past this place one day, I said to Tony something along the lines of ‘I wonder if you can go in and buy pepperoni rolls right there.’ I’ve probably said this to a dozen of my friends. But his response was something along the lines of ‘go find out.’ Why not, right? We were passing it, and I was hurting for blog material anyway, so why not.
I parked along the road to the left of the building with my flashers on while I walked up to the side door. I figured they would shoo me away, so I was prepared to go home empty-handed. But as I went to open the door, I saw a sign that read “As of August 1, 2013 there will be a price increase on our pepperoni rolls. 6 oz. $31.75 per case. 4 oz. $32.35 per case. Bulk rolls for $20 per case. Fundraiser $28 per case. Single 6 oz. $1.50 Single 4 oz. $1. MB $15.50 per case. Dough balls per case $14.50.”
I was relieved. This told me two things: That they DO in fact allow purchases right at the bakery. And they will allow me to have an individual pepperoni roll.
As soon as I walked in, I stopped. I literally walked right into the factory. There were sacks on the ground to my right and a conveyor belt right in front of me. There was a small chain between two posts that said to not go beyond that point. There’s really no waiting area or reception area - it’s just the two feet area in front of the door where you stand.
Until someone awkwardly comes over and asks if they can help you. The front isn’t manned by anyone. This man was working on the line and walked over to help me out. I asked for a pepperoni roll. They have three kinds: provolone, double-stuffed, and hot pepper cheese. I got a regular and a hot pepper cheese one. They were still warm. I handed him $2. The man slipped them into a plastic bag and sent me on my way.
When I got back to work, they were still warm. And much fluffier than what you get from the prepackaged ones in the store. Light, fluffy and full of spicy slices of pepperoni. And the hot pepper cheese packed just a little bit more heat.
There aren’t many places in town you get can a hot pepperoni roll. And a pretty good one at that.