From Rock to Roll: A Mt. Juliet family pivots to paying bills with dough


MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Zito family’s careers were put on hold amid the pandemic, but the couple found a sweet way to pay their bills through cinnamon rolls.

As a production manager and celebrity make-up artist, the Zito’s careers were filled with music.

“This year I was supposed to be out with Blink 182, Green Day, so you know, large scale concerts,” Zito told News 2.

As for his wife, Christin Cook, “I specialize working with celebrities so there’s no red carpet, there’s no big events where celebrities are having their hair and makeup done all the time.”

So the couple pivoted from rock to roll.

“Easter morning we made sourdough cinnamon rolls and I posted them on my personal Instagram and everybody was like, ‘get in my belly, I need those,’ and were so excited, so we were like, ‘maybe we should just sell these to our neighborhood,'” they explained.

The neighborhood ate them up.

The first weekend the couple sold around 60 rolls, but in no time they were selling hundreds.

“It’s been 9 weeks, and we are selling over 750 consistently every weekend.”

Folks can’t seem to get enough of the sweet, yet salty buttercream atop the sourdough roll.

“You get that beautiful salty, sweet that you can’t stop eating,” Cook smiled.

They offer a pre-ordering system and pop-up, pick-ups in driveways across the city.

“We set up at the end of our driveway, we have a friend in East Nashville we set up at the end of their driveway,” they went on to explain.

Much like the rising dough, The Z Bakery Nashville now has an industrial kitchen and they are employing roadies as helping hands. As they like to say, “Buy a roll, save a roadie.” 

“Facilitating that many orders to that many customers, we just said, this is impossible to do with just the two of us, so we started bringing in our friends, other roadies to help us, to help us bake, to help us do the orders and it’s been really special to be able to share that with them as well,” said Zito.

The couple no doubt turned a sticky situation into a sweet one that’s inspired others.

“It makes people happy, it’s a comfort food and I think a lot of people are really inspired by the fact that you can pivot during this time.”

Fifty cents of every roll they sell go to MusiCares, a nonprofit that’s been helping those in the music industry for decades.

“MusiCares is one of the organizations that is putting money into the pockets of people that really need help right now, not just during COVID but folks that need medical emergencies. During the tornado, they really helped people. The crews that I normally get to hire that go out on the road with me are getting direct assistance from MusiCares right now, so it’s such a great organization to partner with,” explained Zito.

The couple said they have already been able to donate thousands to the nonprofit.

Z Bakery Nashville

Hungry for more?

Find out how you can get your hands on the cinnamon rolls at Z Bakery Nashville’s website.

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