By Starrla Cray
DASSEL, MN Mary Pekkala’s breads, pies, rolls, cookies, jams, and salsas are about as homemade as it gets and they’re now for sale through her home business, called My Kitchen Bakery.
“I built a brand-new commercial kitchen in my backyard; I just finished it this spring,” said Pekkala, who lives north of Dassel.
The kitchen was inspected and licensed by the State of Minnesota April 3.
Although the business is new, Pekkala’s baking experience developed decades ago, watching her mother bake bread and can produce for the family.
When Pekkala got married, she and her husband, Steve, continued the tradition with their own children. Anna, Keith, Kenny, and Jonah love to help in the kitchen, and each have jobs they like best.
“It’s kind of a family thing,” Pekkala said.
Seven years ago, Pekkala began taking her treats to the farmers market in Dassel. Last year, she also sold twice a week at the farmers market in Hutchinson. Everything is baked the day of the market to ensure peak quality.
“Last summer, I was baking a little over 100 loaves per week,” Pekkala said.
One aspect that makes Pekkala’s breads stand out is their homemade taste. She purchases wheat berries from the Natural Food Co-op in Litchfield, and uses a wheat grinder to make fresh flour.
For Pekkala, the best part of baking is “when people come back for the bread because it was so good.”
Two top sellers are cardamom bread and garlic cheese bread.
“Pies are always a hit, too,” Pekkala said, noting that while apple is an “American favorite,” strawberry rhubarb (made with fresh garden rhubarb) is also highly sought after.
My Kitchen Bakery makes cakes for weddings and other occasions, too.
Pekkala recently began delivering baked goods to occasional stores in Delano and Willmar, and may sell in other locations in the future.
To purchase directly, call Pekkala’s home at (320) 275-4217, cell at (320) 221-5617, or email email@example.com.