I suppose every small town has a business that is as famous as the town itself. In Winona, Minnesota that place is Bloedow’s bakery. Started in 1924 by Ernest Bloedow, the business moved to its present location at Laird and Broadway streets a year later. The business flourished for three generations under the Bloedow progeny. The bakery finally was sold outside the family, but the present owner, Hugh Polus, worked for the family for 20 years before purchasing the business. Hugh Polus and his wife Mary knew one thing for sure: “When it Ain’t Broken…Don’t fix it!”
On every morning except Sunday people line up along the sidewalk waiting for Bloedow’s to open. Generations of Winonans have been brought up on the tasty Bloedow treats; maple long johns, bismarcks, glazed, cinnamon rolls, apple turnovers….you name it…they’ve got it!
The “I love Bloedows Bakery — Donut of the Gods” facebook site has 3,800 members; a prime reason that Bloedow’s Bakery was selected as the best bakery in Minnesota last year. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2575071182/
Yesterday I went down to Bloedows to purchase goodies for our Bed and Breakfast guests and relatives who were visiting for the weekend. I found some kids with their father waiting in line and figured that the above photo would give you the essence of the place. But, in the real sense the only way to truly appreciate Bloedow’s is to bite into a glazed donut or a maple long john! They even have a maple long john with a strip of bacon down the center!
One reason that people shop at Bloedow’s is that it is an historic business. The old wooden display cases haven’t changed in nearly 90 years. The ceiling is tin, the floors are old planks, the building is a “classic” and the neighborhood is charming. Charming…that is the essence of Minnesota’s finest bakery!