Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, July 29, 2002

Ch. 11 interviews Mary Behrens for faithfulness to Betty Crocker

By Julie Yurek

Sets of silverware are the first item that Mary Behrens of Winsted remembers receiving from the Betty Crocker catalog ­ painstakingly collected by her family members as a wedding gift in 1976.

"Everyone chipped in and pooled their points, because at that time, a person could only get one set of silverware per person," she said, referring to the point system that the catalog offers. A customer receives a reduced price if he or she sends in the required amount of points for each item.

Since then, Behrens has faithfully ordered items out of her catalog; enough so that General Mills recognized Behrens as a valued customer for 25 years of patronage.

As a result, Behrens was interviewed by KARE 11 last Monday as part of a feature story about Betty Crocker's 70th anniversary.

"General Mills called me and asked if I would mind being interviewed," she said.

Behrens was interviewed by John Croman. The segment is set to air Thursday, Aug. 1 in the 10 p.m. Extra, said Jeff Kraker, photojournalist.

How it started

Behrens' mother got her started ordering from the catalog. "If it weren't for my mother, I probably wouldn't know what the catalog was," Behrens said.

The catalog is only available by calling or writing to the number and address on the box top points coupon, she said.

"I remember my mother's catalog was very small. It was maybe 10 pages long and about four by five inches," she said.

The current catalog is about 30 pages in length and is similar in size to a magazine.

Items in the catalog range from silverware and dishes to baby toys and figurines.

Behrens cuts out points from General Mills products like, cereal and flour, and sends in her order.

She doesn't order a lot, she said. "Just some things throughout the years."

"Betty Crocker has very good quality in their items," she said.

The Behrens have lived in Winsted for 22 years. They have six children, Sarah, Leah, Hannah, Naomi, Josiah, and Rebekah.

Mary and Dave are both from Iowa, she said. Before moving to Winsted, she and Dave taught elementary education in Illinois and other areas in Minnesota. She is a stay-at-home mom and Dave is the principal/administrator of Lighthouse Educational Ministries.

Behrens is trying to teach her daughters about the quality of the Betty Crocker catalog.

She is passing down the tradition of the catalog. Her oldest daughter, Sarah, was married last summer, and Behrens gave Sarah her old Betty Crocker cookbook and bought herself a new one.


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