WINONA, Minn. — Longtime staple in the Winona community, Bloedow Bakery, is celebrating its 100th anniversary of operations. People come from far and wide to get a tasty donut or fresh-baked bread.

“It's the recipes that we have used for 100 years,” said Karen Sorum, Bloedow's office manager. “Nothing has changed as far as I know. From when it first started, the recipes have stayed the same.

It might not be the same brand anymore, but it is the same.” Ernest Bloedow opened the bakery in 1924. His eldest daughter and her husband, Mildred and Julius Gernes, bought the bakery in 1941 and it stayed in the Gernes family until 2004 when Hugh and Mary Polus bought it.

Hugh had been a baker there since he was 15 and the Gernes family mentored him until he was ready to purchase the business. “He learned all the recipes, learned how things worked, inside and out," Sorum said. "He's the maintenance man.

He keeps everything running.” ADVERTISEMENT It was important for the Gernes family to know the business was being passed down into capable hands. “I think we would be lost without Bloedow,” said Colleen Kennerly, a Winona resident and manager of The Kensington in Winona.

“In fact, I remember a Facebook post going around that said what would you miss most if you crash in a plane? I think there were about 75 people who said Bloedow.” Bloedow is a locally-owned business, not a corporation. It’s the community supporting other community members, Kennerly added.


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