Addiction to recovery with cake-roll business

When Chris Barnett baked his newly sober wife a pumpkin roll one evening in the fall, he only wanted to dry her tears.

He had no idea that the simple act of compassion would jump-start a business aimed at promoting recovery.

It all happened when, after decades of alcohol abuse, Melissa Barnett emerged from inpatient treatment in July a changed woman. She threw herself into recovery, attending meetings as part of 12-step program where she bonded with others.

In October, one of those friends posted on social media that she was making pumpkin rolls. Melissa Barnett thought, “I want to make those,” and invited a group to her South Side home for a baking party.

The gathering would have been the first time she hosted guests sober. But everyone canceled.

“I cried like a baby,” she said. “I could feel again after so many years, and my little feelings were so raw.”

She left home to go to another 12-step meeting, inspiring prompting her husband — who is also in recovery — to act.

“I looked up a recipe, and I made her the cake,” he said. “I just wanted to cheer up her day and see the smile on her face when she got home. And look what came out of it.”