In 1924, Ernest Bloedow had a dream to start his own bakery in Winona, MN. Located at 601 Sandborn Street, Ernest and his wife, Mary, started their little bakery which soon became a family affair. In 1925 the bakery moved to the corner of Broadway and Laird into a former saloon, complete with a hitching post outside. The bakery soon became known as Bloedow’s Little Bake Shop on Broadway. There it flourished and was passed down through the family.
By 1941, Ernest’s and Mary’s daughter, Mildred, and her husband, Julius Gernes, assisted in the bakery operations and eventually purchased the bakery. In 1984, Mildred and Julius’ son, Ernest, and his wife, Darleen, took over the Bloedow tradition with its now famous recipes. In 2004, the bakery was sold to Hugh and Mary Polus, the first owners outside of the Bloedow family.
A baker at Bloedow Bakery since the age of 15, Hugh was mentored by Ernie and Darleen for almost 20 years to continue the Bloedow tradition. While some customers may have been skeptical of the change, they were soon relieved to know that nothing would be changed with the Bloedow’s recipes. The Poluses are both native Winonans and grew up on Bloedow’s treats.