by TRACY ZOLLINGER TURNER
Laura Edgar wasn’t planning on making a career out of coffee and pastries when she opened Crumble Coffee & Bakery in 2013. She had just completed her studies in piano at Geneva College in Pennsylvania and was taking a gap year in Bloomington before attending the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her brother-in-law—real estate attorney Scott Reynolds—asked her to partner with him to open a small place in the Renwick neighborhood, envisioning it as “a coffee shop with a few baked goods.”
“I was 21 and had zero business experience,” says Edgar, who grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where she had spent some time studying baking at a culinary school. As she grew into her role as the co-owner and manager of Crumble, her ideas about her future began to shift. “I loved being a musician, but I really love serving people coffee,” she says. “At the end of the day, I found it to be really, really rewarding.”
The business grew steadily, moving from a small space with a countertop oven, to a larger one with a few more kitchen amenities within Renwick in 2015. A second downtown location was added on North College in 2017. It broadened Crumble’s kitchen and baking capacities significantly—an expansion that ultimately helped them endure the pandemic.
Online orders of quiche, hand pies, small cakes, macarons, croissants, their namesake fruit Crumble bars, galette, and other pastries helped keep them in business. “We’re doing a lot more boxes of pastries for people so that they can have something to look forward to at home,” says Edgar.
Regulars have also kept coming back for favorite specialty drinks, including the Honey Bear Latte, and seasonal menu specials, like Rose Gold Iced Tea—a black tea and rose syrup creation. Outdoor tables helped them stay safely open.
Edgar attributes Crumble’s success to its community of employees, neighbors, and friends. “That’s the heart of any small business,” she says. “It’s not just the owners or founders—it’s everybody around them.”