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Taste buds scream for Wholely Rollers

by Celia

In Chesapeake, Virginia, Brenda Harford embarked on a new journey after nearly three decades as an educator, transitioning into the world of baking full-time.

The inception of Whole-ly Rollers Bakery stemmed from Harford’s faith, inspired by her Christian beliefs and a clever play on words. “People said it was so good it will make you want to shout, and I said, ‘Huh. We did a lot of shouting in our old Baptist church,'” Harford recalled with a laugh. “Then some girl in the hair salon was like, ‘That’s like a Holy Roller,’ and I’m like, ‘Yes!'”

At the heart of Whole-ly Rollers Bakery lies Harford’s grandmother’s cherished recipes, notably the yeast roll recipe, which holds a special place of honor in the bakery. “It would be sinful to come to Whole-ly Rollers and not get our yeast rolls,” Harford emphasized, paying homage to her grandmother’s legacy.

While the yeast rolls remain a classic favorite, customers flock to Whole-ly Rollers for their delectable Cinnamon Rolls, served fresh with homemade buttercream frosting. Sweet potato pies and an array of other irresistible sweet treats round out the bakery’s offerings.

Among the bakery’s patrons is Jimmy Calhoun, a former principal who once mentored Harford during her time at Great Bridge High School. Recalling her remarkable athletic prowess, Calhoun praised Harford’s transition to entrepreneurship. “She was an outstanding athlete, and she’s outstanding in this business,” he remarked.

Harford’s athletic achievements are indeed noteworthy; she holds the title of the all-time leading scorer for women’s basketball at Great Bridge High, a record unchallenged for four decades. “My record has been 40 years, and no one has even come close or threatened to knock me off the throne,” she proudly declared, reflecting on her remarkable accomplishments on the court.

With the same dedication and fervor she displayed in her athletic endeavors, Harford pours her heart and soul into her baking craft. Everything at Whole-ly Rollers is meticulously crafted in-house, ensuring freshness and quality in every bite.

Linda Thompson, the Director of Marketing and Harford’s twin sister, echoed the sentiment, attesting to the irresistible appeal of the bakery’s offerings. “The homemade yeast rolls, they melt in your mouth; it’s just like going to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts; you can’t eat just one,” Thompson remarked enthusiastically. “I’m not just saying this because I am her sister!”

With an assortment of delectable treats ranging from pecan pie to coconut custard pie, Whole-ly Rollers Bakery continues to delight customers with its commitment to excellence and unwavering dedication to quality.

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