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Oct 21, 2013 03:40 PM


Where to get decent kolatches now in the TC?
Seriously, a big loss to the West Side.
From today's Pioneer Press:
"The West Side of St. Paul is a little sadder today, its first day without Jerabek's New Bohemian Bakery.
Owners Russell Spangler, Ronda Vincent and John Wills wrote a note to customers Saturday on Facebook to announce the news that the 107-year-old bakery, at 63 Winifred St., would close for good Sunday.
The owners cited "physical, financial and emotional challenges" in making the sudden decision to close.
They thanked their neighbors and longtime customers and sent out a plea to help their employees find other work.
The current owners bought the bakery in 2008. Its Czechoslovakian pastries, called kolaches, were based on a recipe from its founder, Ed Jerabek.
The bakery's downtown St. Paul skyway location was also shuttered this morning.
Attempts to reach the owners were unsuccessful."

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  1. This makes me very sad.

    1) Where am I going to get kolaches?
    2) It seems like in recent years the family/neighborhood bakery has gone by the wayside and its replacements have been far inferior. With the exception of niche shops (how many cupcake only bakeries does the world really need?) we've moved to a world of Panera bread, Costco cakes, grocery store cookies, and Bakers Square pies and have tossed aside the neighborhood bakery. I know that people tend to feel nostalgic about things they grew up with, regardless of whether they were really better, but I feel like the general neighborhood bakery is definitely one of the things genuinely better back in "the good ol' days."

    11 Replies
    1. re: amishangst

      Bogus Creek Bakery in Stockholm makes ok closed ones - I am NOT a fan of the Cedar Rapids style open ones. But I echo your wail - where in the TC can we find good kolatches?

      1. re: amishangst

        Regarding your second point, if masses of people were not eating at Panera or stopping at Costco for cakes and Baker's Square for pies, those venues would not exist.

        The Jerabeks folks have been very quiet about exactly why they took the drastic step of closing, so it may have had nothing to do with customer numbers. But a StarTribune article on the closing of some other neighborhood bakeries pointed out that the growth of low-carb, paleo, and gluten-free diets has dented bakery sales, as has the additional costs of quality ingredients.

        All that said, I will consider myself fortunate that there are two independent bakery shops (P. J. Murphy's and Rosemark) and Wuollet's fairly close to me. They apparently are a dying breed.

        1. re: steve_in_stpaul

          Not to detract from what you've said about local bakeries - I would add Rustica, Trung Nam and Cafe Arnaud - P. J. Murphy's kolatches are way too sweet.

          1. re: steve_in_stpaul

            Have you ever had anything good from Rosemark (that's the one on Snelling near St. Clair, right?). We bought the worst donut of our lives there. Even my husband wouldn't eat it. We swore off Rosemark ever since.

            To be honest, I thought Jerebek's was already closed. :( I wonder if I got confused back when it was sold in 2008, thinking it had closed? Sad.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I have had the same experience at Rosemark. Off-putting from The hygiene, if nothing else. The pan at El Burrito is ok, but still no kolatches.

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I've actually never set foot in Rosemark (you have the location right, TDQ). To be blunt about it, the building they're in looks so dumpy I've never *cared* to set foot in it (and I don't get squicked out easily by tired-looking restos and markets). But I've been living in the neighborhood for 13 years now and they've been open all that time, so they must be keeping some customers happy.

                1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                  Ah, okay. My assumption is that Rosemark and the equally questionable florist next door somehow manage to eek out a living doing bulk orders for Mac functions.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Mac has a contract with its own catering company and never uses outside catering. So, Rosemark isn't making its money off of Macalester, anyway. Not sure how they're hanging on.

                      1. re: gildeddawn

                        My guess is they own their building and paid off all their equipment a generation ago. Plus, I think they have quite a few commercial contracts. They cannot possibly make their way on retail..their storefront is a travesty.

              2. I am sad not to have visited Jerabek's in its heyday. The times in recent years that I managed to get there, it seemed dusty and tired.

                I, too, miss the neighborhood bakery. As some have mentioned here, there are a few great bakeries in the cities (Rustica!), but us poor suburbanites continue to get screwed food-wise.

                It's time to resurrect the bakery in the 'burbs - anyone want to help me open one?

                1. So sad. I was looking forward to their chicken pot pie this fall. Possibly the richest dish I've ever eaten, with flaky pastry and an uber-creamy sauce. Well worth the splurge.

                  The press release alludes to problems other than monetary. I truly hope things work out well for all involved.

                  Not at all the same, and with a limited selection, but Bars Bakery, on Selby just off Dale, turns out bars, pasteries and holiday pies that are as good as my mother made.

                  1. PJ Murphys and the Roseville Bakery off of Lexington and Larpenteur are both nicely old fashioned and remarkably inexpensive.

                    Another wonder is A Baker's Wife in Minneapolis.

                    Jerabek's cream cheese coffee cake was amazing...they will be missed.

                    1 Reply
                    1. For those looking for old-fashioned bakery goodness out of their own oven, this cookbook is great:


                      It doesn't have the particular ethnic recipes that this area in noted for, but for old-fashioned, rich, yeasted coffeecakes and Danish, it is amazing.