by Paul Holje
Back in the day when George and I first dreamed of opening a bakery, we didn’t know much, but we did know that we wanted it to be part of the community. We wanted it to be a destination for friends to gather over a cup of coffee. We wanted it to be an integral part of fabric of Grand Forks. Over the last decade we have been able to bring that vision to life.
We didn’t stop there. We extended our hospitality outside our doors by supporting hundreds of events and organizations. We have donated nearly $200,000 in baked goods and services to many folks in need since we opened our doors. The list is long, but we are proud to have supported the Circle of Friends Humane Society, the Northlands Rescue Mission, the East Grand Forks Food Pantry, our local schools, local arts groups and musicians, local churches, and many folks who needed help with a benefit to get themselves back on their feet.
In our business we have strived to be a truly fun place to work. We’ve paid 100% of the health insurance costs for our salaried staff. We’ve offered paid sick leave and vacations. We trained many talented people to become world class bakers who have gone on to great adventures.
Our mission of bringing farm to table baking has been central to our business. What many people don’t realize is that those ingredients are often more expensive that commercial or factor farmed ingredients. When we work directly with local farmers and producers, we know that the money we paid to them went directly to them. We know the people who had a hand in creating great food.
When we are out in the community and overhear someone telling their friend to meet them at “The Bakery”, it truly makes me smile. We have left a mark on the community, helped others, offered hospitality, and brought great artisan baking to the region.