Since my family and I moved up here, the Mankato-North Mankato meso area didn't have its own local bakery. Instead, we were treated to gas station donuts and the big grocery chains had their own bakeries. Their bread products, cookies, and donuts were fine, but I thought Mankato needed a local place.
My hometown of Sioux City, Ia has Sunkist Bakery which is a must-stop place for me when I go back to visit. I especially like their raised donuts, but their other pastries and their cookies are good too. But Mankato had no local bakery during my tenure here until this year when a little shop called Friesen's opened in Old Town.
Apparently I wasn't the only person hungry for a good, local bakery. Today's edition of he local paper has a front page article about Friesen's.
Bake it and they will come — in droves.
"I don't know if I've ever been busier in my life and I never had more fun in my life," said longtime baker Tony Friesen who just opened Friesen's Famliy Bakery & Soup Bar in Old Town.
Friesen, wife Natasha Frost and partner Spencer Vanderhoof have been so busy they've quickly added staff and are already bringing their contractor, Brennan Construction, back to double the size of the space.
"We undersized. We were thinking a little cafe and Mankato was thinking a big, full-service bakery, so we're going to give them a full-service bakery. It's an easy decision to make."
By opening the store, they have created jobs for themselves, but they quickly found that they themselves couldn't adequately staff the place, so they hired extra help.
The recipe: entrepreneurs have idea; entrepreneurs take risk and open business (and thereby create jobs for themselves); entrepreneurs provide a product that people find valuable and do so at a reasonable price, and they are quickly swamped with business; entrepreneurs realize they are understaffed and hire more help. Voila! Jobs created. No preservatives, taxes, or subsidies needed.
I stopped in this morning to see if they had any hot dog buns. Last night I made my famous (in my mind, at least) Philli's Chili and today I have a hankerin' for chili dogs. Unfortunately, they didn't have any buns and I didn't see any raised donuts in the case. But the tiny place was packed and they had a nice selection of goodies and breads, including bread bowls for soup. Hopefully the "full-service bakery," when it's in full swing, will provide hamburger buns, hot dog buns, and, most importantly, fluffy raised donuts.