The Times photo by Betsy Reason
Mary and Chuck Boden shoot the breeze with customers at the counter at Boden’s Bakery in Noblesville. Boden Road carries the namesake of Chuck Boden’s grandfather, who was a city-county councilman.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason Mary and Chuck Boden shoot the breeze with customers at the counter at Boden’s Bakery in Noblesville. Boden Road carries the namesake of Chuck Boden’s grandfather, who was a city-county councilman.

Boden’s Bakery isn’t a chain. There’s only one.

And when you visit, you know that. 

“Everything’s fresh and made today,” said baker Mary Boden, smiling from behind the counter, as she wraps up fresh cinnamon rolls for a customer.
Chuck Boden, works alongside his wife, at the counter. Together, they shoot the breeze with customers, particularly regulars who come in daily for cookies, cinnamon rolls, pies and cheesecakes.

“I’m still a small bakery. I still do like I’m baking at home,” said Mary Boden of Noblesville.

It was her love of baking that led her to open her first bakery four years ago in Noblesville. She made and sold her bakery items at the Noblesville Farmers Market for one season before opening a brick-and-mortar shop in Western Plaza.

Mary and Chuck, both 63, have a bedtime of late afternoon, so they can rise early to go into their bakery in the wee hours to prepare for the shop’s opening each day at 6 a.m. She spends the morning baking, so that when the shop opens, the display cases are full, with cookies, cinnamon rolls, bear claws, scones, cream puffs, lemon bars, cupcakes, brownies, pies, cheesecakes and more. She bakes a different bread every day. 

While Mary Boden doesn’t make her own doughnuts, she glazes pre-made doughnuts, which have become popular among the regulars. And the local parishioners.

Every Sunday morning, an assistant comes in to help glaze 50 dozen doughnuts alongside Mary, who then delivers the doughnuts to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church and First United Methodist Church of Noblesville and Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Cicero. 

“Word of mouth is better than any advertising,” said Mary Boden, whose bakery will celebrate four years in business in May.

“I’ve had some really exciting projects,” Mary Boden said. She made 3,700 cookies for a chain of nursing homes throughout the state. She made 1,300 desserts -- lemon bars, chocolate chip cheesecake and cookies for 900 people at a Cabela’s special VIP members event and 600 cookies for Santa’s Wonderland at the store. She made more than 100 pies for a Fishers teacher appreciation celebration.

She also made three decorated cakes that were gobbled up by Indianapolis Colts players for lunch on the Friday before the first game of the playoffs (which culminate Sunday with Super Bowl 53, Patriots vs. Rams, at 6:30 p.m. on CBS). For the Colts luncheon, Boden’s Bakery made two chocolate cakes and one white and decorated the cakes in a Colts theme, with horseshoe, “Go Colts” and footballs. Mary has a part-time high school student who decorates cakes for her.

Boden’s Bakery often has inquiries for bakery items that she doesn’t have regularly in the shop. On this particular day, during the recent Noblesville Police Department’s Coffee with a Cop program, a customer inquired about if she could make poppy seed rolls. “She’s the baker,” Chuck Boden said, turning his head toward his wife to respond.

Baking makes Mary Boden happy. It’s a passion she’s enjoyed since she was a kid, when her sister taught her how to bake. “It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing,” said Boden, who recalled earning a blue ribbon for her oatmeal cookies during her one year in 4-H. She said her success in baking comes from her attention to detail.

Mary Boden, who was born and raised in Shelbyville, spent a lot of years at her hometown McDonald’s restaurant, not eating there, but working there, as opening manager, a job she said made her better in customer service. She has a background in accounting and information data management and coding, for which she has three associate degrees, from Ivy Tech, and she also earned a bachelor’s degree in health information management, after being encouraged by her husband. 

“I gave up coding from home to teach it, then gave up teaching to do this, which was an extremely good move,” said Mary Boden. 
“I like to bake…...I enjoy being my own boss,” she said.

Mary and Chuck Boden have been married for 15 years after meeting on a radio station dating site.

“He’s kind of my Wal-Mart greeter,” she said, smiling at her husband.

Chuck stands as long as he can but mostly leans against the counter or sits in his chair due to his debilitating Multiple sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with in 1968, at age 13.

He helps his wife as much as possible, working the front counter and in the kitchen, he dips the mini muffins. She makes batter, and he pours the batter in the pan, “little odd jobs that he can do sitting down,” Mary Boden said.

Chuck Boden grew up in Noblesville and attended Durbin Elementary School (where his late father, Charles “Joe” Boden also attended). Chuck graduated in 1973 from Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers.

Mary and Chuck Boden today live on the east side of Noblesville near Boden Road, which was named in the 1950s after Chuck’s grandfather, Charles Boden, a city-county council president, Chuck Boden said. Chuck’s dad in 2000 retired and sold family-owned Boden land to the City of Noblesville.Chuck’s mom, Martha “Corinne” (Johns) Boden lives in Noblesville. The Boden land is now the location of Noblesville’s 200-acre Finch Creek Park (under development) and Finch Creek Fieldhouse, which opened in September at 16289 Boden Road, Noblesville. 

Chuck Boden smiles about the Boden family legacy. He loves to talk about it. He’s proud of Bodens but uses his time now to share in his baker wife’s passion.

Then, all of a sudden, the front door of the bakery opens, ringing a bell to draw his attention. He’s back to work, offering his hospitality. 

Smiling at the customer, he said, “Come in. How can we help you today?”

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com